Vaccination at all costs: more than ever, the Head of State is making it “the master asset” to face “the strong resumption of the epidemic which affects all territories” because of the Delta variant.
Because “the more we vaccinate, the less space we will leave to the virus” and “it is therefore a new speed race which is engaged”, justified Emmanuel Macron, speaking not at the Elysee Palace but at the ephemeral Grand Palais , at the foot of the Eiffel Tower.
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Health pass extended to new locations
The Head of State announced several radical measures to avoid a fourth wave of patients in hospitals.
The preferred tool is the health pass (proof of vaccine or a negative PCR test), the use of which will be gradually extended in the coming weeks. From July 21, it will be necessary to enter “places of leisure and culture” such as cinemas.
From the beginning of August, the health pass will become compulsory to enter cafes, restaurants, shopping centers, including for staff, but also on planes, trains or long-distance coaches, as well as for medical establishments.
End of free PCR tests
The sanitary pass is already in force for places hosting more than 1,000 people, including stadiums, and discotheques accommodating more than 50 people.
Then, in the fall, “comfort” PCR tests will be chargeable, except for a medical prescription, whereas they are currently free, announced Emmanuel Macron during this 8th televised address since the start of the crisis.
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Compulsory vaccination for caregivers
As many experts and politicians have demanded, vaccination will become compulsory for nursing and non-nursing staff in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and retirement homes, professionals and volunteers working with the elderly, including at home, as well as firefighters or paramedics.
In total, just over 4 million people are affected, 1.5 of whom are not vaccinated, said government spokesman Gabriel Attal. The people concerned “will have until September 15 to be vaccinated” and, after this date, will be implemented “controls and sanctions”, warned Emmanuel Macron.
And the Minister of Health Olivier Véran to push the syringe: “From September 15, if you are a caregiver and you are not vaccinated, you will no longer be able to work and you will no longer be paid”.
Increase in appointments
Immediate result: this July 13 on BFMTV, the boss of the Doctolib Stanislas Niox-Chateau site announced that 926,000 French people have made an appointment to be vaccinated after the President’s announcements. He also clarified that 65% of them were people under 35.
– Doctolib (@doctolib) July 12, 2021
The Head of State also announced that “vaccination campaigns” would be organized “from the start” for middle school, high school and college students. In addition, a recall campaign for people vaccinated first, in January and February, will also start from “early September”.
So that all these measures are applied “as quickly as possible”, according to a parliamentarian, Parliament will sit in extraordinary session from July 21.
The epidemic is on the rise
In sharp decline for weeks, the number of contaminations per day has recently started to rise again, to more than 4,200 on Sunday. It could rise “above 20,000 in early August if we do not act,” the Minister of Health warned on Sunday.
The number of patients ill with Covid-19 in critical care, who receive the most serious cases, was up slightly on Monday compared to the day before, to 957, or 10 more than on Sunday, but far from the some 6,000 patients reached in peak of the third wave at the end of April.