France’s new Covid pass comes into force on Monday, with over 16s required to show proof of vaccination to be permitted entry to public places such as bars, restaurants, theatres and on trains.

The new Covid vaccine pass is substituting a health pass that allowed citizens to provide vaccine proof, a recent negative test or previous infection.

According to French Prime Minister Jean Castex at a press conference last week, the vaccine pass “clearly puts constraints on the unvaccinated.”

However, it is “necessary if we want to preserve and increase our vaccination coverage in the event of new variants,” he added.

In addition, also getting underway on Monday, children between the ages of 12 and 17 will be eligible for a booster vaccine. Those aged between 12 and 15 will still need to show the health pass to enter restaurants and use public transport.

Within the next few weeks, a number of restrictions will be eased as Covid cases fall. The working from home requirement for a minimum of three days a week will no longer be in force from 2nd February, and capacity limits for sporting events and concerts will also be lifted.

Moreover, from 16th February, nightclubs will be allowed to reopen their doors after being closed since December.

The Covid pass has heightened weekly protests throughout the country against the restrictions, with some who have not had the vaccine claiming to feel like second-class citizens by President Emmanuel Macron, reports France 24.

According to French officials, the current wave of Covid cases will likely remain high yet controllable until the middle of March, with the Omicron variant to soon reach a peak.

“This exceptional wave is not over, but its waning effects are a positive sign,” Castex stated.

At the time of writing, a total of 16,692,432 Covid cases have been reported in France, and 128,629 fatalities.

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