Nine million unboosted French people are set to lose access to their vaccine passes on February 15, according to one government minister.
Olivier Véran, France’s Minister of Health, has said that nine million unboosted individuals could lose access to their vaccine passes as rules regarding the regime change on February 15.
Vaccine Passes have already begun expiring for all vaccinated French over the age of 18 who have not received a booster, with documents of those who have failed to receive an extra jab having previously been set to expire seven months after their last dose.
However, according to Minister Véran, nine million unboosted people in the country are now in danger of losing their passes on February 15, when rules regarding the grace period between doses are set to shorten to only four months.
“There are still nine million French people, who on February 15, if they do not receive vaccine injections, could lose the benefit of the pass,” La Chaîne Info reports the minister as saying. “That’s a lot.”
“There are millions of slots that are available throughout the national territory,” Véran continued. “Make this reminder… do not wait until the last minute.”
The minister also discussed the possibility of a fourth dose with the broadcaster, though refused to say what position on them he or his government will ultimately take.
“If this injection makes it possible to protect the most fragile, we will do it,” he said. “If, on the other hand, we realize that it is not necessary, we will not do it.”
The news that 9 million French could lose their jab passes — and by extension their access to a wide variety of amenities — comes as a variety of nations across Europe loosen restrictions related to the Chinese Coronavirus.
England and Ireland have already cut back dramatically on the number of health measures in place, with both nations completely scrapping their internal use of COVID passes.
Meanwhile, the Netherlands and Denmark look set to follow suit, with Denmark in particular reportedly ready to entirely drop all coronavirus restrictions from the end of the month.
While France too has been loosening restrictions, it has only done so in coordination with the tightening of its vaccine rules, with the nation’s new regime of vaccine passes having come into force on Monday.
As a result of the measures, those who are not considered sufficiently vaccinated nor recovered will lose access to services such as bars, restaurants and interregional public transport, with a negative test for the disease no longer a viable method for bypassing cert requirements.
France is not alone in tightening measures, with Italy and Germany also recently stepping up COVID restrictions, with Italy recently mandating all over-50s within the country to be vaccinated against the virus.
Austria meanwhile has successfully passed legislation that will make getting the jab mandatory for all adults in the country.
Those within the German-speaking nation-state who remain unvaccinated after the legislation comes into force are to face hefty fines of up to €3,000.