France National Assembly creates COVID ‘health pass’ to allow attendance at large gatherings
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France National Assembly creates COVID ‘health pass’ to allow attendance at large gatherings

The French National Assembly passed Bill 609 Wednesday, “relating to the management of the exit from the health crisis.” The bill provides that, beginning on June 9, France’s Prime Minister may “[m]ake the access of people to certain places, establishments or events involving large gatherings of people for leisure activities or trade fairs or exhibitions subject to the presentation of” proof that an individual has recovered from, does not currently have, or is vaccinated against COVID-19. The “health pass” will allow only those individuals who obtain it to attend recreational gatherings such as amusement parks and sporting events.

The bill passed with a vote of 208 to 85, after fierce controversy surrounding the restrictive nature of the “health passes.” Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, of a right-wing French party, Debout La France, tweeted that the health pass is “opening Pandora’s box” and dragg[ing] [the public] into permanent digital tracking by the destructive madness of the majority.” Others have stressed the risk of placing conditions on individuals’ freedoms, believing that the passes may be applied in discriminatory ways.

The bill complements the proposed EU Green Certificate, which will provide easier travel for those who present proof of vaccination, have recovered from COVID-19, or have tested negative for the virus.