Macron announces a new vaccination rule for people 65 years of age or older in France.
French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday announced the tightening of an anti-coronavirus measure, as cases of the virus continued to rise in France and the rest of Europe.
In a televised speech, Mr Macron called the trends worrying and urged people to get vaccinated against the coronavirus as soon as possible.
People over 65, he said, will now need to get vaccinated to remain eligible for a vaccination “passport” needed to access restaurants, museums, long-distance trains and other public places. The new rule comes into effect on December 15.
In addition, Macron said, people aged 50 to 64 will be eligible for a vaccine booster starting in December. He did not link the passport to the recall for this age group.
France already has a fairly high vaccination rate, with 69% of its population fully vaccinated. Despite this, reports of new Covid-19 cases have increased in recent weeks, as have hospital admissions, which Macron called a red flag.
“Get vaccinated so you can lead a normal life,” implored Mr. Macron to those who still had not received a single injection. “To be free in a nation like France is to be responsible and united. So I’m counting on you.
Hospitals report an average of 40 Covid-related deaths per day. This has increased by 60% in a week, although only a tenth of the figure seen a year ago, when no vaccine was available, remains.
France is the last European country to experience a resurgence of the virus. Germany this month set a record for new cases reported in one day, and Britain is in the middle of a wave, three months after all restrictions were lifted.
The World Health Organization warned last week that Europe was back at the epicenter of the pandemic and that half a million people on the continent could die from Covid in the coming months.