From Thursday, September 30, young people in France from the age of 12 years and two months will have to produce a health pass to access restaurants, cafes, cinemas, libraries and, in some cases, trains. Essentially, the same places that require adults to provide a health pass except it is not mandatory in school or for sports at school.
This means showing a QR code proving they are either full vaccinated or a negative Covid test of less than 72 hours or a certificate of recovery of less than six months. While Covid tests will no longer be free for some from October 15, Prime Minister Jean Castex confirmed they will remain free for 12-17-year-olds.
A two-month period was added by the government in early September to allow those aged 12 to be fully vaccinated by September 30. According to the latest figures from the Ministry of Health, 70% of the 3.5 million French people aged 12-17 years have received a first dose (there are still some 1.6 million unvaccinated adolescents) while 67% are fully vaccinated.
For those aged 12 to 15, permission from only one of two parents, or a legal representative, is required. Minors over 16 can decide to be vaccinated without parental consent.
In France, there are 8.1 million people who are still eligible for vaccination: 1.6 million among 12-17-year-olds, 2 million of 18-34-year-olds, 1.9 million for 35-49-year-olds and 1.3 million for 50-64-year-olds.
Health Pass Extension
Yesterday, government spokesman Gabriel Attal said the government is considering introducing a bill that would allow it to maintain the use of the health pass beyond the November 15 deadline until summer 2022, bypassing the presidential election deadline. Attal stated this would allow the government to be able to quickly respond to “an epidemic rebound.”
He added that while there are reasons to be optimistic thanks to vaccination, the past 18 months have shown that “we must always remain cautious and vigilant … Our wish is always to have the least constraints for the French. The issue for us is not to say that we are going to prolong constraints indefinitely.”
From Monday, October 4, school children in 47 departments across France will no longer be required to wear masks in school. The list of departments where the incidence rate is less than 50 was published by decree in the Official Journal Thursday morning. The rate in the Alpes-Maritimes is currently 89; in the Var it is 58 while Monaco has dropped to 33.9.
Rising Energy Costs
Prime minister Jean Castex will announce on TF1’s Journal de 20 heures how the government plans to protect consumers against the rising prices of electricity (up 10% since January) and gas, which has increased 57% since January and is expected to rise another 15% in November. According to INSEE, inflation in France has climbed 2.1% over the last year.