People wanting to go to cinemas, museums, sporting matches and other cultural venues in France will have to show proof of Covid-19 vaccination or a negative test starting on Wednesday as the country faces a spike in cases from the highly transmissible Delta variant.
The “passe Sanitaire” will be required for all events or places with more than 50 people, before being extended to restaurants, cafes, and shopping centers in August, President Macron announced in a televised address last week.
Once inside, however, people can take off their face masks, which remain necessary inside shops or businesses or on public transportation.
Masks are now mandatory outside again in the southern Pyrenees-Orientales department neighboring Spain, as well as in much of the western Charente-Maritime department near Bordeaux, a popular tourist spot, where case numbers are soaring.
Outdoor mask mandates were also reimposed Tuesday in Toulouse and other nearby towns.
Health Minister Véran warned of an unprecedented increase in Covid-19 cases because of the Delta variant on Tuesday when 18,000 cases were reported over 24 hours.
“That means we have an increase in the spread of the virus of around 150 percent in the last week: we’ve never seen that,” Véran told parliament as it began debate on the stricter rules aimed at encouraging vaccine hold-outs.
The initial Covid-19 pass was implemented by decree, while lawmakers will vote on its extension to restaurants and trains or planes for long-distance travel.
From September, vaccinations will also be required for healthcare and retirement home workers, many of whom have been particularly wary or dismissive of the shots.