COVID-19 in France | To the great varying the great means

President Emmanuel Macron announced new measures to encourage more French people to get vaccinated

Jean-Christophe Laurence

Jean-Christophe Laurence

« Health pass » in public places, such as bars and restaurants, compulsory vaccination for caregivers, chargeable PCR tests, vaccination campaign for students, etc.

In a televised address of barely 30 minutes, French President Emmanuel Macron announced Monday evening a series of new measures to relaunch a slow-motion vaccination campaign and counter a probable fourth wave of the COVID-19 epidemic and the progression of the Delta variant in France.

« Our country is facing a strong resumption of the epidemic », declared the French head of state, calling for a « summer of mobilization for vaccination, […] only way to return to normal life ”.


President Macron, during the announcement of the new measures on television, Monday

Coronavirus cases are indeed on the rise in France because of the uncontrollable Delta variant, « three times more contagious than the first strain, » said Macron, predicting an increase in hospitalizations in August if measures are not taken in faster.

More than 4000 new cases have been identified daily in France for a week. The number of patients in critical care was also up slightly on Monday, with 957, 10 more than the day before. Concerning figures for the authorities.

Strong measures

It will therefore now be necessary to show a white paw to enter bars, restaurants, shopping centers, as well as hospitals, retirement homes, trains and planes.


A security guard checks a client’s vaccine passport at the entrance to a nightclub in Saint-Jean-de-Monts, western France, Friday.

Only people who have been vaccinated or who can present a negative PCR test of less than 48 hours will be able to access these places by showing what is now known as a « health pass ». A measure that will be in effect from July 21 in the « leisure and culture » sector and will extend, in early August, to cafes and restaurants.

Confirming a rumor that had been circulating for a week, the president also announced that all healthcare workers – from hospitals to retirement homes – will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19. France is thus following the example of Italy and Greece, both of which have taken steps in this direction.

You will have until September 15 to get vaccinated. From September 15, controls will be carried out and sanctions taken.

Emmanuel Macron, President of the French Republic

After this date, unvaccinated caregivers will no longer be able to work and will therefore no longer be paid, if we are to believe the Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, who spoke clearly on this subject in the wake of the president’s statements. .

A bill on this sensitive issue will be presented to the Council of Ministers in a week and should be adopted as a priority.

Among other strong measures, the French head of state announced the end of free PCR tests, which until now offered a preferred alternative to « vaccine-hesitant ». Vaccination campaigns will also be organized, from the start of the school year, for pupils and students from college to university, while border controls will be reinforced, with forced isolation for unvaccinated people.

Expanded vaccination?

Will this new turn of the screw be enough to wake up a vaccination campaign which seems to be weakening since the beginning of the summer?

So far, 53% of French people have received at least one dose of vaccine and more than 40% are fully vaccinated. However, according to the French Scientific Council, it would be necessary that “90% to 95% of people be vaccinated or infected” for the epidemic to be “controlled”. In short, we are still far from the mark.

Emmanuel Macron indicated that he was not closing the door to a vaccination obligation for the general population « according to the evolution of the situation ».

A scenario that would not surprise epidemiologist Philippe Sansonetti, a researcher at the Institut Pasteur, who even suggests that this decision may have already been taken.

« Our leaders are cautious, for fear of irrational emotional reactions of the type » yellow vests « , but they are preparing more than seriously in recent days, » he says.

Researcher at the School of Advanced Studies in Public Health and specialist in health controversies, Jocelyn Raude is more cautious.

According to him, “it is possible that this option will be put on the table. But as long as it has no effect on the hospital system, as it seems to be the case for the moment, I don’t think we will come to that ”.

According to what the Internet user reports, nearly 20,000 vaccination requests were recorded per minute on the Doctolib site (the equivalent of our ClicSanté) following Emmanuel Macron’s speech. The battle has started.

Hundreds of thousands of appointments

Emmanuel Macron’s announcements aimed at encouraging vaccination caused a first surge in appointments on Monday. “There are hundreds of thousands of you who have reserved a [rendez-vous] vaccination tonight [lundi] « , Noted the Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, on Twitter. « That’s good, we have vaccines, centers open everywhere and tens of thousands of caregivers, firefighters, community officials who are waiting for you, » he assured. In anticipation, 212,000 people had already made an appointment during the day for a first injection this weekend, already « a record » for a month and « up to 40% more than the previous weekends ».

France Media Agency

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