The French government announced on Monday its decision to lift the controversial “health pass” in more than a hundred shopping centers, due to the improvement in the health situation linked to the Covid-19 epidemic.
The number of shopping centers of more than 20,000 square meters subject to the obligation of the sanitary pass will thus drop from 178 to 64 as of Wednesday for the departments experiencing an incidence rate of less than 200/100 000 and in continuous decline since a week, according to a government statement.
This decision was taken because of “the drop in the incidence rate observed throughout the country,” said the press release.
“The lifting of the health pass will then be applied to other departments, since for seven consecutive days the incidence rate will be less than 200 / 100,000 and decreasing”, indicates the same source.
The “health pass” which takes the form of a QR code testifying to a complete vaccination schedule, the negativity of a Covid-19 test or the recovery from the disease, became mandatory from August 9 to access around a hundred shopping centers and stores of over 20,000 m² in France.
But the decision to establish it remains in the hands of the prefects who, according to the law validated by the Constitutional Council, cannot do so if it compromises “people’s access to basic goods and services as well as to means. transport “.
According to the French Minister of the Economy, Bruno Le Maire, outside the shopping centers where it “had an impact”, the health pass “protected the French economy”, as did “vaccination”.
On Thursday, French employers (Medef) asked Prime Minister Jena Castex to lift this measure which is economically damaging to the country.
“I am going to ask the Prime Minister that the health pass on shopping centers be stopped”, indicated the president of Medef Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux. “We have a huge problem in shopping centers,” said the president of Medef. “Not only is that -30%, -40% (of turnover) in shopping centers where there is a health pass, but since the French have not understood anything logically enough” at the limit of 20,000 square meters and with prefectural authorizations, all “shopping centers are at -15%” of turnover, he detailed.
Several legal actions have been brought against the obligation of the health pass at the entrance of large shopping centers, but this measure is the subject of contradictory decisions according to the departments, making its understanding even more complex.
The health pass obligation should be lifted on November 15, a date set by law, but the government has opened the door to an extension of the device beyond this date following the evolution of the health crisis.
SL (with MAP)