People in France will from today be required to show proof of their Covid vaccination or negative test before entering cultural venues and tourist sites including the Eiffel Tower, cinemas, museums and sports matches as the country faces surging cases numbers.
The “passe sanitaire”, or health pass, is being rolled out on Wednesday at a limited number of locations to cope with what the government has called a “stratospheric” rise in Delta variant infections.
It will be extended to a wide array of public venues from the start of August, including long-distance trains, bars, restaurants and shopping centres.
The health pass provides proof that a person has been vaccinated against Covid-19, has recently had a negative coronavirus test or has newly recovered from the virus.
A planned 45,000 euro fine for businesses which do not check that customers have a health pass has been lowered by the government and will now start at up to 1,500 euros, increasing progressively for repeat offenders.
The plan was announced a week ago by Emmanuel Macron, the French president, as infections rose and vaccination rates slowed down.
France also plans to bring in compulsory Covid-19 vaccinations for health workers and to require people who test positive for coronavirus to self-isolate for 10 days.
French officials have warned that the country is entering a fourth wave of the virus with the Delta variant now spreading rapidly.
On Tuesday, France recorded 18,181 new infections over a 24 hour period — more than double the figure from just a week ago.
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