Vaccine Passports are ‘Disguised’ Mandates, Admits French Health Secretary

A policeman checks the Covid-19 health pass of customers in a bar in Saint-Malo, northwestern France, on November 19, 2021. - As mainland France experiences a new Covid-19 rebound, health authorities recommend a vaccine booster dose to people aged 40 and over, according to a press release on November 19, …
JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER/AFP via Getty Images

The implementation of vaccine passports in France is a “disguised” form of vaccine mandates, the country’s Minister of Health admitted on Sunday.

Health Minister Olivier Véran revealed that the use of vaccine passports in France is primarily an effort upon the government to convince unvaccinated people to come forward to receive the jab rather than facing two-tiered restrictions on their freedoms.

Véran said in comments reported by French broadcaster La Chaîne Info that the vaccine pass “is a disguised form of vaccination obligation. But it’s more effective.”

“Preventing people from going to bars, restaurants, places that receive the public, if they are not vaccinated, is more effective than fining them €100 when caught in the street,” he added.

The admission came after French Prime Minister Jean Castex confirmed on Saturday that the current COVID pass (Pass Sanitaire), which allows people to submit a negative coronavirus test instead of proof of vaccination, will be limited to those with proof of vaccination.

“While we have given time, a lot of time, to these French people who had hesitations and doubts, we will strengthen the incentive to vaccination in January,” the prime minister said.

Making the case for the move, Castex argued that “it is not acceptable for the refusal of a few million French people to get vaccinated to put the life of an entire country at risk.”

The transformation of the health pass into a fully-fledged vaccine passport is expected to be introduced in January. Proof of vaccination will reportedly be required to enter theatres, cinemas, stadiums and restaurants, however, it is not expected to be mandated for public transport like some other European nations.

Last week, the French government also announced that people over the age of 18 who have yet to take a booster shot will have their health passes invalidated by next month.

The acknowledgement from the government that the vaccine passport is a backdoor mandate flies in the face of previous statements made by President Emanuel Macron, who wrote on social media last December at the outset of the vaccine campaign: “I have said it, I will repeat it: the vaccine will not be compulsory. Let us have confidence in our researchers and doctors. We are the land of the Enlightenment and of Pasteur, reason and science must guide us.”

The prospect of vaccine mandates has increasingly become a reality across Europe, with Austria set to make jabs a requirement by February, with those refusing to take the vaccine facing fines and reportedly even prison time.

In neighbouring Germany, the incoming left-wing government, including Angela Merkel’s successor as Chancellor, Olaf Sholz, have said that they would push for making vaccines mandatory amid the rising cases of the Chinese virus in the country. German politicians are also actively debating creating a national vaccine registry to track the inoculation status of citizens.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka

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