All health workers in France ordered to get jabbed as Macron announces COVID passes

Emmanuel Macron has ordered all healthcare workers to get vaccinated and has announced special COVID passes as the country continues to fight rising infections.

In a televised address, France’s President said all health care workers, nursing home workers and anyone who cares for the elderly or unwell at home must have coronavirus vaccines by 15 September.

Those who fail to do so could face sanctions or fines.

The president also announced anyone who wants to go to a restaurant, shopping centre or several other public places will need a COVID-19 pass, which can only be given to people who have been fully vaccinated, have a fresh negative test or have recently recovered from the virus.

The additional restrictions come as the country continues to battle a resurgence of cases driven mainly by the Delta variant.

Some 40% of France’s population is fully vaccinated but there are pockets of vaccine scepticism.

“The country is facing a strong resumption of the epidemic touching all our territory,” Mr Macron said. He stopped short of any new lockdown measures, saying “we have to live with the virus”.

Women sit on the terrace of a cafe in Paris. Parisians who have been cooped up for months with take-out food and coffee will be able from Tuesday to savour their steaks tartare in the fresh air and cobbled streets of the City of Light once more -- albeit in smaller numbers.

Women sit on the terrace of a cafe in Paris

He said the French government would declare a medical state of emergency again starting on Tuesday, which allows him more scope to impose virus restrictions.

He also announced that France will start charging for some virus tests, which up to now have been free.

In France, vaccines are widely available for anyone 12 and over, but take-up slowed in recent weeks because of vaccine hesitancy, a sense that the virus is no longer a threat, and because some people decided to put off their jabs until after summer holidays.

Demand started rising again over the weekend as people prepared for Macron’s announcements.

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