French President Emmanuel Macron has dismissed the possibility of locking down unvaccinated people in France, claiming the move would not be necessary because of the success of the Covid-19 ‘health pass’.

Speaking to La Voix du Nord newspaper in an interview published on Thursday, Macron said there was no need for France to follow Austria’s lead by locking down its unvaccinated citizens. 

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A security guard checks vaccination certificates outside a business in Athens, Greece, November 6, 2021.
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“Those countries locking down the non-vaccinated are those which have not put in place the [health] pass. Therefore, this step is not necessary in France,” Macron claimed.

The president’s health pass, which was the target of much criticism when it was introduced, requires people to provide proof of vaccination or a recent negative test before undertaking certain normal activities.  

The ‘Pass Sanitaire’ is required if citizens wish to go to restaurants, cafes, cultural venues, or cinemas. It’s also required to take long-distance trains, among other activities. 

Austria has led the way by starting a partial lockdown of the unvaccinated amid a surge in Covid-19 cases. The Czech Republic will follow suit next week, while Germany decided on Thursday to introduce similar measures in areas where Covid incident rates exceed the threshold.

Earlier in November, Macron made the continued use of the Covid health pass for over 65s dependent on getting a booster jab. 

Some 20,366 new infections were registered in the last 24-hour recording period. Case numbers have risen steeply in recent weeks. 

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