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French MPs approve new COVID vaccine pass

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French MPs approved a new COVID-19 vaccine pass early Thursday morning after three days of tumultuous debate, further fuelled by President Emmanuel Macron‘s remarks that he wanted to “piss off” the unvaccinated, according to Politico. 

In the National Assembly, 214 MPs approved the vaccine pass, versus 93 who voted against it, while 27 abstained. The measures will now be examined and voted on in the Senate next week.

The official entry into force of the law, originally planned for January 15, might be delayed because the conservative Les Républicains party said it would refer the matter to the Constitutional Council to ensure that the “balance” between the need to “protect” the French people and respect their freedoms is well respected.

If approved, the new measures would mean people aged 12 and over would have to show proof of being fully vaccinated in order to participate in certain activities, use public transport, and enter places like bars and restaurants. A negative COVID-19 test will no longer suffice as it did before, except for access to health facilities and services.

The vote comes as the French national health institute reported Wednesday a record 332,252 COVID-19 cases.