France’s parliament approved a law Sunday that will exclude unvaccinated people from all restaurants, sports arenas and other venues, the central measure of government efforts to protect hospitals amid record numbers of infections driven by the highly contagious omicron variant.
A newly passed law in France prohibits citizens who have not been vaccinated against the coronavirus from entering restaurants, cafes and many other public places, The Associated Press reported.
President Emmanuel Macron reportedly backed the legislation, which passed the country’s National Assembly this weekend, and pushed to have it approved more quickly by the European nation’s parliament in recent weeks as public health officials in the country try to beat back a rise in infections due to the rapid transmission of the highly contagious omicron variant.
More than 90 percent of French citizens are vaccinated, the AP noted, adding that critics of the legislation have questioned whether it would make a significant difference in stymieing the spread of the virus.
Before the law was passed, unvaccinated French citizens could gain access to restaurants, cafes and sports arenas if they showed proof of a negative test or recent recovery after contracting the virus.
Macron generated headlines earlier this month when he lashed out at the unvaccinated in his country.
“Irresponsible people are no longer citizens,” Macron said in a statement that sparked backlash.
Macron’s government is hoping the new pass will be enough to limit the number of patients filling up strained hospitals nationwide without resorting to a new lockdown. New confinement measures would strike another blow to the economy — and could also cloud Macron’s chances of reelection in the April 10 presidential vote.
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