The lower house of the French parliament approved several corona measures on Thursday morning, including the law for the vaccination pass.
This is one of the last steps towards the final adoption of the pass, and only the Senate has yet to approve it. The law requires a vaccination certificate for restaurant and cafe visits, events and public transport over longer distances.
Parliament debated for three days, and they also continued through the night from Wednesday to Thursday. In the end, a large majority of 214 MPs were in favour, 93 were against, and 27 did not vote.
If the upper house also gives the green light, the vaccination pass will replace the corona pass (sanitary pass) from 15 January, which is already much opposed. A negative test certificate is then no longer sufficient to enter many places.
The measure is intended to persuade the five million French above the age of 12 who have not been vaccinated to get a shot. Another factor is that the current pass is often forged. The penalties for this will be increased if the law is passed. A forged pass can result in five years in prison and a fine of 75,000 euros. Entrepreneurs who fail to check the pass can also face significant fines.
President Emmanuel Macron has come under fire in recent days after he said he wants to make life so difficult for unvaccinated people that they can still be vaccinated against the coronavirus. He also said that unvaccinated people are irresponsible and unworthy to be called French citizens.
The number of corona infections has risen sharply in France in recent weeks. On Wednesday, 332,000 infections were identified.