The Health Pass is now a reality in France: after a complicated vote in the National Assembly, it is the Senate’s turn to validate the measure that many French people reject. The final version of the law was, however, amended in terms of form, with some significant changes. An agreement between the deputies and the senators will have allowed a final adoption on July 25, 2021. Here is what changes.
Health pass: no penal sanctions and no dismissal of employees
The first changes included in the final version of the Health Pass concern companies and employees. To begin with, all criminal penalties have been removed for professionals who fail to comply with the obligation to apply for the Health Pass: only fines and administrative sanctions (up to the closure of the establishment) are now incurred.
For employees too, the final version of the text is a relief : the possibility of dismissing an employee without a health pass has been removed from the text. On the other hand, the suspension of the contract is foreseen, accompanied by the suspension of salary in what appears to be a measure very close to unpaid leave.
The compulsory Pass for minors, on the terrace and at the hospital
Where the senators will not have won their case, it is on the Health Pass for minors. If they wanted the removal of this obligation, in the final agreement between the two chambers, it was reinstated for 12-17 year olds but only from September 30, 2021 (against August 1 for adults). The new text also removes the need for the consent of both parents for a test or for the vaccine (one parent will suffice) for 12-15 year olds, and removes the need for parental consent for 16-17 year olds. .
Likewise, the Health Pass will be compulsory on the terraces and outdoor spaces of bars and restaurants as well as to enter a hospital (except in an emergency).
The principle of compulsory isolation of people positive for Covid-19 is also maintained, but under the conditions of a classic sick leave.
End of the Health Pass on November 15, 2021, except for a new vote
Another measure, expected: the sanitary pass for shopping centers of more than 20,000 square meters will be compulsory by decision of the Prefect, and not automatically. A situation on a case-by-case basis, therefore, throughout the territory.
As for the Health Pass itself, the text voted on July 15, 2021 by the two chambers of Parliament provides for the obligation for a period of several months, until November 15, 2021 (and not December 31, 2021 as requested by the government). It may be extended after this date but subject to a new vote in Parliament.