French National Assembly back Macron’s Covid-19 ‘health pass’ despite discrimination fears3 min read

                                    By- Chidakash Pandey

French MPs on Wednesday supports President Macron’s idea to introduce a Covid “health pass”, even when the deputies pushed back against the move calling it discriminatory for those not yet inoculated.

Emmanuel wants the pass Bill to help pace up the lifting of Wuhan-virus restrictions as his Covid vaccination programme gathers momentum.

Health passes will be used to travel outside of the France with people showing documents proving of coronavirus vaccination, a recent covid-19 negative test or recovery.

Opposition parties have opposed the bill for being a discriminatory, not least because millions are yet to be vaccinated.

Even some deputies usually loyal to Macron balked at what they said was a lack of details on how the pass would be used, saying the government was basically asking for a blank cheque.

They demanded for a number on how many passholders would be allowed in big public meetings, however the government insisted that there is a to remain flexible regarding the numbers.

Initially,this lack of agreement led to an defeat of the bill by 108 votes to 103 in the lower-house Parliament, with a significant number of abstentions in voting.

However in the early hours of Wednesday bill got passed with 208 to 85 votes. 

Philippe Latombe, a member of the centrist Modem party that usually backs the government, said that the government is not ready to listen or take genuine suggestions.

At last, the bill was changed such that a transition period during which the government can still impose restrictions was lessened, from June 2 to the end of September, rather the end of October.

Health pass, which will take a digital or paper form, is meant to let public attend sport functions and other large events, but would not be used for restaurants, theatres or shops.

Pass would complement the “green certificate” which the EU wants to have in place by June to ease travel, keeping in mind the coming summer holidays.

Digital Affairs Minister Cedric O said that the pass will enable them to reopen spaces welcoming people, festivals, events and gatherings.

“In absence of this health pass, we will have to wait much longer,” Minister added.

Prime Minister Jean Castex told Le Parisien newspaper that “we are moving towards the end” of restrictions and “that is good news”.

Yet France’s scientific council, which aids the government on health, has warned that the upcoming few months are “still very uncertain”.

The council said the government should be patient and wait for daily cases to dip to atleast 10,000 a day in comparison to 17,000 presently, before easing restrictions.

France has earlier on May 19 announced the reopening of cafe and restaurant terraces,with reduced numbers of public.

About 18.5 million people in France are now inoculated with their first vaccine jab,that is more than 35% of the adult population.

Of the total population, some 8.2 million have also got their second vaccine dose. Macron’s Covid-19 ‘health pass’ backed by French National Assembly.

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