France: Bill to Ban COVID Vaccine Refusers from Public Transport Put on ‘Pause’ Due to Backlash

December 26, 2020 in News by RBN Staff


France: A radical new bill could ban people who fail to get a Covid-19 vaccination or provide a negative test from using public transport and other activities. France has imposed some of the strictest lockdown measures in Europe, with citizens having to fill out a form every time they leave their home. A recent poll found that 59% of the population will refuse the new vaccine. French President Emmanuel Macron and the Health Minister promised that coronavirus vaccinations will not be mandatory. Critics say that Macron is planning a health dictatorship and that the government is using ‘vaccine blackmail.’ A law professor pointed out that the bill would curb parliament’s powers because the exceptional measures could all be implemented by decree and would give executive authorities nearly unlimited power.

The government has been forced to delay the legislation for several months after angry protests.

The EU gave the green light for a Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine on Monday, paving the way for the first inoculations to start across 27 countries just after Christmas.

People who fail to get a Covid-19 vaccination could be banned from using public transport in France, according to a draft law sparking angry protests from opposition politicians on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Jean Castex on Monday got his cabinet’s backing for a bill that is designed to provide a legal framework for dealing with health crises, including the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the text, which will now be submitted to parliament, a negative Covid test or proof of a “preventative treatment, including the administration of a vaccine” could be required for people to be granted “access to transport or to some locations, as well as certain activities”.

The government’s vaccination campaign is to start on Sunday, and officials already face widespread resistance to a treatment developed in record time since the outbreak hit Europe early this year.

A recent poll by the Journal du Dimanche newspaper found that 59 percent of respondents said they would not get a Covid shot, one of the highest rates in the European Union.

President Emmanuel Macron has promised that coronavirus vaccinations, though strongly recommended, will not be mandatory, a pledge reiterated by Health Minister Olivier Veran on Tuesday.