Over 65 without a boost to lose the France Covid pass

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PARIS: France begins on Wednesday the implementation of a new tightening of the rules in the fight against Covid-19, which means that people aged 65 and over will lose the validity of their health card unless they did not have a third recall.

The health pass was introduced in the summer and makes compulsory the complete vaccination against Covid-19, a recent recovery or a negative test compulsory to visit any restaurant or café, travel by intercity train and go to cultural places such as cinemas or museums.

Worn by President Emmanuel Macron as he considers his re-election in 2022, the health pass is widely seen as a success, despite initial protests, by encouraging people who were hesitant to get vaccinated.

The government says some 400,000 people aged 65 and over eligible for the recall have not yet done so, comprising 12% of those aged 80 and over and 10% of those aged 65 to 79.

People over 65 who have not taken the reminder will see the QR code in their health card generated by a mobile phone app automatically disabled.

The rule, which further strengthens one of the strictest health card systems in Europe, will be extended from January 15 to all age groups. The only option for people without a recall – other than getting one – will be to have a negative test dating back no more than 24 hours.

France has already achieved nearly 16 million recalls and is confident of reaching its target of 20 million before Christmas.

The booster is now seen as a key weapon in defeating the Omicron variant which experts say is spreading faster than previous Covid variants and could become dominant in Europe in the coming weeks.

France reported more than 63,400 positive Covid tests on Tuesday, the highest figure since April, while nearly 2,800 people are in intensive care with the disease.

More than 76% of people have been doubly vaccinated in France and children considered to be at risk can be bitten from Wednesday, vaccinations should also soon be fully open to the very young. – AFP

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