The new bill on the rails in the face of a “stratospheric” recovery of the Covid



Published on

Jul 19, 2021

Time is running out: faced with a “stratospheric” recovery of the Covid-19 epidemic, the Council of Ministers adopts on Monday the bill integrating the vaccination obligation of caregivers and extending the health pass, before a step-by-step examination by Parliament which could end on Friday.

People wait to be vaccinated against Covid-19 on July 18, 2021 in Perpignan, southern France – AFP

The text is presented while the French have, without waiting for the law, already massively resumed the path of vaccinodromes, but also that the anger of the sanitary anti-pass is mounting, as they manifested it on Saturday.

“We have a fourth wave (of Covid-19) taking off, with an increase in the incidence which is stratospheric,” the government spokesman Gabriel Attal was alarmed on Monday morning on Franceinfo. Sunday, Public Health France reported 12,532 cases detected in 24 hours, the highest level for a Sunday since mid-May.

A week after Emmanuel Macron’s announcements, on which the Head of State plays a good part of his credit for the 2022 presidential election, the bill must be adopted at the end of the day in the Council of Ministers .

Seek the balance between protection and freedoms

The text will be examined Tuesday in committee at the National Assembly, then Wednesday in the hemicycle. It will be Thursday the turn of the Senate, dominated by the right, with a view to final adoption by the end of the week, at the end of the extraordinary session in July.

Deputies and senators could quite quickly agree on this text which is the subject on its principles of a fairly broad approval, except La France insoumise and the National Rally.

However, in the detail of the measures, the elected representatives of the left, of the right and also of the presidential majority intend to seek the best balance between protection of the population and restriction of freedoms.

After the senatorial right, the rebellious deputies indicated Monday their wish to seize the Constitutional Council on the bill expanding the health pass, which establishes in their eyes a society “of control which destroys confidence” and “divides”.


The strong measures of the text (compulsory vaccination for caregivers and extension of the health pass proving complete vaccination, a recent negative test or immunization to access trains or bars and restaurants in particular) are supported by a large majority of the population.

“The support for the measures taken by the President of the Republic is massive and the support for vaccines, which was still rather hesitant a few months ago, it continues to progress in the population”, rejoiced on France 2 the minister of the economy Bruno Le Maire.

The objective, shared in other European countries confronted with the rapid spread of the Delta variant (called “Indian”) of the coronavirus, is to relaunch vaccination massively and to avoid the return of containment or curfew measures in France. when the economy picks up.

Flexibility on the health pass

Faced with these measures, a stronger than expected mobilization of anti-vaccines has manifested itself in recent days.

The Interior Ministry counted 136 rallies on Saturday bringing together 114,000 people, including 18,000 in Paris, to protest against the extension of the health pass and the “dictatorship” it represents for some.

Statements “bewildering”, according to Gabriel Attal, “because they give the feeling among those who pronounce them that they seem to discover, a year and a half after the start of this epidemic, that the virus is liberticidal”.

The spokesman assured on the contrary that the government was trying to “encroach as little as possible on the freedoms of the French”, and “to leave as many places as possible open” while protecting the people who go there thanks to the vaccination.

At the head of the anti-health pass procession appeared in Paris the former number 2 of the National Front Florian Philippot and the sovereignist Nicolas Dupont-Aignan (both candidates for the presidential election) but also the singer Francis Lalanne or the deputy ex-LREM covidosceptic Martine Wonner, ousted from the Liberties and Territories parliamentary group for having called on the demonstrators to “invade the offices” of other deputies.

Gabriel Attal also promised “that there will be flexibility and that we will be more in the accompaniment than in the sanction (…) the first days” vis-à-vis the health pass. “But then there will be penalties if some people obviously don’t want to apply the rules.”

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