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France approves tougher access restrictions for unvaccinated people

The French parliament approved stricter access restrictions for people who have not been vaccinated against Covid-19 on Sunday, as officials try to contain a fifth wave of cases.

Paris, 17 January 2022 (dpa/MIA) — The French parliament approved stricter access restrictions for people who have not been vaccinated against Covid-19 on Sunday, as officials try to contain a fifth wave of cases.

The law stipulates that unvaccinated people aged 16 and over would no longer have access to restaurants, cultural institutions and long-distance transport.

In the National Assembly, 215 lawmakers spoke in favor of tougher restrictions, 58 voted against and seven abstained.

The French government wants to provide further incentives for people to be inoculated against Covid-19, as infection figures soar.

The new rule means a negative test alone would not be sufficient for people to access many places. Instead, people must show proof of recovery or vaccination.

Originally, the regulation was due to enter force on Jan. 15. However, heated debate in the National Assembly and between the two chambers of parliament delayed the step.

It is still unclear when exactly the amendment will come into effect. Some members of parliament said that they would appeal to the Constitutional Council over the text.

In recent weeks, French infection figures have risen rapidly. Most recently, the registered number of infections per 100,000 inhabitants nationwide was around 2,829 within one week.

Some 54,000 people took to the streets on Saturday to protest against the planned restrictions and the government’s Covid-19 policy.

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