French Business Owners Face Prison, €45k Fines for Not Checking Vax Passports

Security staff member checks the health pass of a client, at the entrance of a nightclub i

French businesses that do not check people for vaccine passports, the so-called “health pass”, could face fines of up to €45,000 and a year in prison under a proposed new French law.

President Emmanuel Macron announced the draft law on Monday, extending the health pass requirement to various businesses, including restaurants, cafes, shopping centres, trains, and air travel, from August.

Under the new bill, business owners who do not check for a valid health pass could face a fine of up to €45,000 (£38,487/$53,1000) as well as a possible prison sentence of a year, French newspaper Le Figaro reports.

Touted as an effort to stop the spread of new variants of the Wuhan virus, the bill will also make it mandatory for certain workers, such as caregivers and firefighters, to be fully vaccinated by the 15th of September or face being fired if they are not vaccinated within two months.

According to Le Figaro, France has seen a surge in new coronavirus cases and saw nearly 7,000 new infections on Tuesday alone, increasing 62 per cent over the last week.

While the number of infections has risen, particularly among younger people, hospitalisations have reportedly not increased, and the number of inpatients has continued to decline.

Earlier this week, President Macron announced the new measures, stating: “Our choice is simple: to put the restrictions on the unvaccinated rather than on all. This is the meaning of the health pass that will be extended.”

As a result of the announcement, over two million French people made an appointment to get vaccinated on the web platform, which crashed after Macron’s speech due to the number of people attempting to make appointments.

France is not the only country making vaccine passports mandatory for certain activities and services. In Italy, the state-run train company Trenitalia announced it would require a health passport or “Green Pass” to use its high-speed trains to increase capacity back to 100 per cent.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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