France: UK's travel restrictions slammed by residents
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In a bid to keep its economy open, while still protecting against the spread of coronavirus, France has extended its health pass scheme. The decision will see people having to prove their vaccination status or evidence of a negative COVID-19 test in order to access public amenities such as restaurants, cafes, museums, gym and swimming pool facilities, some public transport and even hospitals.
The decision has sparked a wave of protests across the country.
According to an interior ministry official, 204,090 had demonstrated across France in the last week, including 14,250 in Paris.
In line with the new changes, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has issued an updated warning on its travel advice page for UK visitors in the country.
“From July 21, you need to demonstrate your COVID-19 status [including] vaccination status, negative test or proof of recent recovery, to access events or spaces with over 50 people attending,” the FCDO said in an update.
“From August 9 this will apply to a wider group of leisure activities as well as some public transport.”
The new rule will apply in particular to trains.
The FCDO explains: “From August 9, certain forms of transport, such as cross country trains, will require passengers to demonstrate their COVID-19 status through the ‘pass sanitaire’.”
People will also need to use the pass for other venues, including popular tourist attractions such as the Eiffel Tower.
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“From 9 August, you will need this to access a range of services and venues including leisure facilities [such as] bars, restaurants, museums, cinemas, hospitals, retirement homes and modes of transport such as long-distance train and bus journeys and planes.
“Those aged 12 to 17 will only be subject to this requirement from September 30.”
The “pass sanitaire” can be fulfilled with one of three criteria.
The FCDO explains: “This can be acquired by fulfilling one of the following three criteria.
“A vaccination certificate, which conforms to the EU Digital Covid Status Certification framework, illustrating that you are fully vaccinated with a vaccine authorised by the European Medical Authority.
“This means seven days after a second dose of Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna.
“Or 28 days after a single dose of Johnson & Johnson.”
Seven days after a single injection for those able to demonstrate they have already been infected -this only applies to those vaccinated in France.
“A negative PCR or antigen test result from within the last 48 hours.
“A document, dated more than 11 days ago and less than six months ago, proving you have recently recovered from COVID.”
Vaccines are now mandatory for health care workers.
The new regulations have caused outrage among some citizens in France, who have protested against the move.
Anne, a teacher who was demonstrating in Paris, spoke told The Guardian: “We’re creating a segregated society and I think it is unbelievable to be doing this in the country of human rights.
“I think our freedom is in danger.”
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