Paris: As most parts of the world grapple with the second wave of Covid-19 or are preparing for the possible third wave, the fourth wave of the pandemic has hit France and is spreading at “lightning” speed, as described by government spokesman Gabriel Attal. To contain the spread of the virus, France has also announced tougher sanctions on non-compliance with the health pass rules.Also Read - 15 European Countries Including France That Recognise India-made Covishield. Check List

What are France’ New Restrictive Measures to Curb Covid Spread?

  • The French government’s restrictive measures targeting unvaccinated people came into effect on Wednesday as the country entered its fourth epidemic wave amid worrying acceleration of the Delta variant.
  • People who want to visit cultural venues or go to amusement parks, swimming pools and gyms in France must now present a certificate that proves they have been vaccinated against Covid-19, test negative or recently recovered form the respiratory illness, reported IANS.
  • Starting from early August, the health pass will also be needed to enter restaurants and bars and for long-distance train and plane journeys, in a move to encourage people to get vaccinated.
  • However, the document would not be required in schools when the academic year begins in September.

What is a Health Pass?

“It is an incentive to vaccinate. It is the way to keep open as much as possible places that could have been closed if the epidemic flares up,” Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Wednesday.

“We are in the fourth wave. The Delta variant is the majority one, it is more contagious,” he told TF1 television, noting that the total cases of coronavirus cases jumped by 140 per cent in a week.

Vaccination Pace to be Accelerated

In this context, five million vaccine appointments would be available in the next two weeks to accelerate the vaccination pace. The government aims 50 million first vaccine doses by the end of August, up from an initial target of 40 million shots, which would be reached later this month, according to Castex.

Fine For Violations

Any offender who refuses to respect the health pass rules risks to be fined up to 1,500 euros ($1,767) while a legal person has to pay 7,500 euros at the first breach.

At the third breach, it can go up to one year in jail and a fine of 9,000 euros for a natural person, and one year in jail and 45,000 euros for a legal person.

Covid Cases in France

On Tuesday, France logged more than 18,000 new infections, 98 percent of them among unvaccinated people.

(With IANS inputs)