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French move to require a COVID pass to access restaurants is approved by constitutional council

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By Euronews
Anti heath pass demonstrators hold placards that read, liberty no to the health pass, outside the Constitutional Council in Paris, Thursday, Aug. 5,2021
Anti heath pass demonstrators hold placards that read, liberty no to the health pass, outside the Constitutional Council in Paris, Thursday, Aug. 5,2021   -   Copyright  Credit: AP
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France’s constitutional council has approved controversial measures that will next week see health passes required to access restaurants and other venues.

The health pass - a QR code showing the individual is fully vaccinated, recently recovered from COVID-19 or testing negative - changes will come into force on Monday.

The council decided the measures were justified, in the name of a "balanced conciliation" between the requirements of health protection and individual freedoms.

The health pass came into force on July 21 at places of leisure and culture where more than 50 people were gathered.

But now it will be extended to restaurants, cafes, some modes of transport and various shopping centres and department stores.

The council also approved the compulsory vaccination of healthcare workers and other professions in contact with vulnerable groups.

They have until 15 September to show they have received one vaccine shot, and until 15 October to present proof of full vaccination.

The measures have drawn tens of thousands of protesters out onto the streets of France in recent weeks, with demonstrators complaining they are an assault on their freedom.

The constitutional judges however considered that the mandatory 10-day isolation for those with COVID was neither "necessary, appropriate and proportionate", saying it constitutes a measure depriving people of their liberty "without an individual decision based on an assessment by the administrative or judicial authority".

France's prime minister Jean Castex said he had "taken note" of the decision, adding: "The public authorities will endeavour to remind all people suffering from COVID-19, including in an asymptomatic form, of the need to scrupulously respect the medical recommendations on isolation".