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France’s Constitutional Council approves new coronavirus rules

The French Constitutional Council has given the go-ahead for the government's plans to make vaccination against Covid-19 a requirement for health workers as well for anyone wanting to visit cafes, bars or restaurants.

Paris, 5 August 2021 (dpa/MIA) – The French Constitutional Council has given the go-ahead for the government’s plans to make vaccination against Covid-19 a requirement for health workers as well for anyone wanting to visit cafes, bars or restaurants.

The ruling from France’s highest court on Thursday means that the proposed tightening of regulations can go ahead as early as next week.

However, the Constitutional Council criticized some details of the plans, including making a 10-day quarantine mandatory for anyone testing positive for coronavirus. The court said the rule was neither necessary nor proportionate.

Proof of vaccination, recovery or a negative coronavirus test will have to be presented in restaurants, cafes, shopping centres and on long-distance trains, though the Constitutional Council ruled that employees in such establishments could not be sacked for refusing to get vaccinated themselves.

President Emmanuel Macron announced the stricter rules in the fight against the coronavirus in mid-July, but Prime Minister Jean Castex referred the law to France’s Constitutional Council due to the fierce public outcry and large demonstrations against the measures.

Macron also announced on Thursday that older and more vulnerable people would be offered a booster vaccination from September onwards.

There was a need for boosters in the fight against the coronavirus, Macron said, though a third dose was not immediately necessary for everyone.

France is currently experiencing a fourth wave of coronavirus. In the past week 225 people per 100,000 have been infected with coronavirus nationwide. Despite this, more than 200,000 people across the country recently took to the streets to protest the tightening of the rules.

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