- The Washington Times - Monday, January 17, 2022

A new French law will ban unvaccinated people from most public venues in hopes of mitigating the COVID-19 pandemic.

The law, which passed Sunday, will exclude unvaccinated people from restaurants, sports arenas and other public areas. The National Assembly passed the law 215-58.

The law is one of the strictest moves a country has taken to target unvaccinated people.



In France, proof of vaccination already was required for most outings, but unvaccinated people were still allowed in public places if they showed proof of a negative COVID test or recent recovery from the virus.

The new law will prevent unvaccinated people from going almost anywhere until they get the jab.

The law also will impose hefty fines on those with fake vaccine cards and people using another person’s vaccination card as proof.

The law comes as France sees a growing anti-vaccination movement among roughly 4 million French residents who have not gotten a COVID shot.

French President Emmanuel Macron warned of the move earlier this year, saying he wanted to pressure unvaccinated individuals to get the shot without imposing a government mandate.

“I really want to piss them off,” Mr. Macron said. “I’m not going to throw [them] in prison. I’m not going to get them vaccinated by force. We put pressure on the unvaccinated by limiting their access to social activities as much as possible.”

The law has faced criticism of being too strict from a wide array of the political spectrum.

Marine Le Pen, a far-right politician who finished second to Mr. Macron in the 2017 election, accused the president of trying to make unvaccinated people second-class citizens.

Jean-Luc Melenchon, a politician who heads France’s socialist movement, said the law is serving as “collective punishment against individual freedom.”

For more information, visit The Washington Times COVID-19 resource page.

• Mica Soellner can be reached at msoellner@washingtontimes.com.

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