French: Mandatory and controversial Vaccination Pass law approved by parliament on Sunday 16th January 2022

After two weeks of heated debate on a mandatory vaccination pass, finally the French parliament on Sunday 16/01/2022 during the night, they passed the law which will make a valid vaccination pass obligatory for all citizens who are 16 years and above if they need to enter into the restaurants, cinemas or any Public transport.

The bill was approved by 215 MPs against 58 MPs who opposed it.

This bill received a massive support from the right-wing of Republicans but also it enjoyed a small number of socialist MPs. On the other hand the far-left, extreme right and the centrist UDI all voted against this bill.

Three ruling party members voted against the measures. There were seven abstentions.

The law means that the current health pass will now be considered as a vaccination pass.

Everyone over the age of 16 will be obliged to present proof of vaccination against corona for entry to restaurants, bars, professional meetings, and all forms of medium-distance transport.

Workers in all the sectors concerned will themselves be obliged to have valid vaccination passes.

In order to qualify for the new pass, proof is required that one has been fully vaccinated . That means one or two injections, depending on the product administered.

From 15 February onwards, it will be necessary to receive a booster shot four months after the completion of the initial inoculation, otherwise the pass will become invalid.

The law allows for circumstances in which a recent negative test can be demanded in addition to proof of vaccination.

Police officers and the owners of public venues will be responsible for the enforcement of these new rules . Those checking passes will have the right to demand photo identification if they have reason to suspect that a pass is being presented fraudulently. Owners who fail to check passes will be subject to an immediate fine of 1,000 euros.

Using a pass belonging to another will result in a fine of 1,000 euros, with the same penalty for allowing your pass to be used by a third party.

The use of a false pass will be punished by five years jail and a 75,000 euro fine. 

Businesses which fail to facilitate distance working for their employees will be subject to a 500 euro fine for each employee, up to a limit of 50,000 euros.

The new law will not come into effect immediately. Left-wing parliamentarians have gone to court to seek for interpretation of the law to ensure to seek redress because to them this law contravenes and maybe in conflict with the constitution of the Republic of France. So the court will examine the impact of the changes on the fundamental freedom of citizens.

The bill will have to wait for several days for a ruling to be made before it can be signed into law by the president.

Africa Enyanya

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