French and Riviera News Friday 6th August 2021


Fatal accident on A8 motorway - The driver of a scooter has been killed after losing control of his vehicle on the A8 motorway. The fatal accident occurred at midday on Thursday August 5th on the notoriously dangerous curve at the Nice bypass, westbound. Police were on site to secure the area as traffic was reduced to two lanes instead of three while emergency services intervened.

Forest fire risk - The Esterel and Tanneron massifs are closed today Friday August 6th, due to the "very severe risk" of forest fires. Météo-France issued the warning and the authorities point out that the use of any form of “fire” is strictly prohibited throughout the Alpes-Maritimes department from July 1st to September 30th.

Health pass - The French Constitutional Council has on Thursday August 5th approved the provisions in the health bill providing for the extension of the health pass and compulsory vaccination for caregivers. The health pass will therefore be mandatory for admission to restaurants and cafes as well as long distance trains. It's expected to take effect from next Monday, 9th August. The Council also confirmed that the provisions of the bill requiring a health pass in certain shopping centres are valid. The Council approved the health pass in hospitals if it isn't "an obstacle" to access to health care. However, the Council has not approved the proposed compulsory ten-day isolation period for those who test positive for Covid-19, saying that it deprived people of their liberty without "an individual decision based on an assessment of administrative or judicial authority". The judges also rejected the proposed early termination of a CDD or interim employment contract for non-presentation of a health pass.

How do you present the health pass?  - Vaccinated people can scan the QR Code displayed on the certificate, which is given after receiving the last dose. Using the TousAntiCovid application it can then be found in the Notebook section. It is also possible to keep the certificate in paper format and should you lose the document it can be retrieved from the "patient" portal of the Health Insurance website. In addition, according to the government website “any health professional can find a vaccination certificate and print it if someone requests it”.

Vacccinated tourists able to request QR Code from Monday - And from Monday August 9th fully vaccinated tourists visiting France will be able to request a QR code to show their vaccination is valid, and use it to enter places such as restaurants, cafes, bars. 

12 to 17 year olds - Anyone aged 12 or over wishing to access one of these places must have a health pass, but given that vaccination has only recently opened to certain parts of the country exemptions have been made and the obligation of the health pass is postponed to August 30th for young people aged 12 to 17, to give them time to be vaccinated if they wish.

How will it work for transport? - The health pass is supposed to be introduced "between August 7th and 10th" for long journeys by train, plane and bus, announced Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, the Minister for Transport. Those by bus, metro, RER or TER are not concerned. The minister announced that the SNCF will propose to "link the health pass" to the passenger's ticket, as Air France and Eurotunnel do, in order to avoid queues. The SNCF has specified that checks will be carried out.

Reactions to health pass - Locally, the President of the Provence Alpes Cote d'Azur Region, Renauld Muselier has said that whatever people think of the Health Pass it will help keep establishments open and we must help our restaurant, cafe owners, culture and leisure professionals to apply it.

Meanwhile Socialist MP Valerie Rabault from the Tarn-et-Garonne and president of the Socialist group in the National Assembly has said that “rules for using the French health pass amount to the government “holding people at gunpoint”. Rabault called for mandatory vaccination for all adults instead of the health pass.

Thursday evening saw several gatherings in protest against the decision in both Paris and Nice with calls for larger demonstrations to take place tomorrow Saturday August 7th.

According to a recent poll 48% of French people disapprove of the demonstrations against the health pass, 37% support them and 15% are indifferent. A majority (over 55%) have declared themselves ready to present this pass if requested, and 61% (against 39%) say they are in favour of compulsory vaccination.

Trafficking of false health passes – Meanwhile police in the Paris region have dismantled several cases of the trafficking of false health passes. In total, ten legal cases are in progress and 14 defendants are to be heard in the Île-de-France. Most are professionals, nurses, doctors, or temporary workers who work in vaccination cen