Coronavirus jabs for health workers to be mandatory – POLITICO
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PARIS — French President Emmanuel Macron announced a package of new measures on Monday to boost vaccinations and beat an impeding fourth wave of COVID-19 infections.
In an address on French television, Macron said the COVID-19 jab would be made mandatory for all staff working in French hospitals, care homes and clinics.
The president also announced that the COVID green pass — a digital or paper certificate used to prove immunity — will be extended to events exceeding 50 people by July 21 and later to bars, cafés, restaurant, hospitals, planes trains and coaches in August.
Currently, the pass, which includes proof of vaccination or negative tests, is compulsory for events exceeding 1,000 participants.
Shortly after the announcement, several vaccination booking websites appeared to have crashed amid a surge of online traffic. One of the main companies, Doctolib, tweeted that up to 20,000 appointments were being booked every minute on its website.
Macron said the country was facing a new wave of infections due to the Delta variant of the virus and that while COVID-19 related deaths and hospitalizations had reached their “lowest point in the last year,” admissions into hospital were bound to rise.
“It’s a new race against time,” he said, “we need to push for a summer [devoted] to vaccinations.”
The new measures are expected to affect medics, nurses and non-health workers, who will have to comply by September 15. New COVID-19 legislation will be drawn up this month and submitted to parliament, he said.
The authorities are concerned about the relatively low level of vaccination among health workers. Only 60 percent of care home workers, and 80 percent of private medics have received their first jab, according to figures from France’s national health body.
Macron also announced that PCR tests for leisure purposes will no longer be made available free of charge in the fall. Exceptions will be made for patients who have medical conditions.
This article has been updated.
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