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France to drop vaccine pass as Covid-19 situation improves: PM

france covid vaccine pass
Source: Wikimedia Commons

France will this month end most Covid-19 restrictions and scrap its vaccine pass for eating out or attending cultural events, the prime minister said on Friday.

After the surge in cases caused by the Omicron variant, the health situation has improved over the last weeks with less pressure on hospitals, Prime Minister Jean Castex said in a statement.

He said that from March 14 the vaccine pass — proving that someone has been triple vaccinated against Covid-19 — will no longer be needed.

The pass, whose introduction last summer initially caused angry protests, had been obligatory to go to a cafe or restaurant, travel by inter-city train or visit venues like cinemas and theatres.

A similar pass will however be needed to go to a hospital or a retirement home in order to protect the most vulnerable, Castex added.

Masks will from March 14 only be required on public transport, meaning that their use will no longer be required in the workplace or at school, he said.

France has recorded 138,762 deaths from Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic two years ago but in recent months has largely avoided the more stringent restrictions adopted by some neighbours.

President Emmanuel Macron is likely to point to his handling of the pandemic as he campaigns for re-election in polls next month, although the campaign is being eclipsed by Russia’s war on Ukraine.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French state-owned international news agency based in Paris. It is the world's oldest news agency, having been founded in 1835 as Havas.

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