Lunchtime News Tuesday 3rd August 2021


Passe Sanitaire - France looks set to make the passe sanitaire (health pass) obligatory, pending the Constitutional Council, the country’s highest legal authority, ruling on August 5th. So how will it work?

Firstly, any of the following documents can be used as a health pass in France:

Proof of having completed a vaccination programme (two doses of an EU-approved vaccine: Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson).

A negative PCR or antigen test taken within the last 48 hours.

A Covid-19 recovery certificate that is less than six months old

Anyone who enters an establishment without showing a valid pass can be fined €135 for a first offence.

From July 21: Cultural and leisure venues of more than 50 people have required the health pass they include.

Cinemas / Libraries / Museums / Theatres / Nightclubs / Casinos / Zoos, amusement parks, circuses / Swimming pools and sports centres / Concerts and festivals / Indoor sports facilities / Cruise ships, ferries /Hotels, holiday resorts and camping sites with swimming pools, playgrounds or other entertainment facilities

From August 9 

Cafés and restaurants, including outdoor terraces / Trade showe, fairs, and conferences / Care homes / Long-distance transport (airplanes, intercity trains, TGV, overnight trains, long-distance buses) / Medical establishments (with the exception of emergency rooms) / Hotels, holiday resorts and full-service camp sites (with the exception of camp sites that only offer accommodation, lodges and guest rooms)

The health pass rules will apply to minors age 12 and over starting September 30. The rules are set to apply until November 15 unless renewed by a parliamentary vote.

France’s pharmaceutical giant purchases US firm - Sanofi, France's pharmaceutical giant which has lagged behind rivals in developing new generation mRNA Covid-19 vaccines, has announced that it has purchased a US firm specialising in the technology.

The company will buy Translate Bio, with which it has been working to develop an mRNA Covid jab, for $3.2 billion (2.7 billion euros). Messenger RNA technology works by providing human cells with the genetic instructions to make a surface protein of the coronavirus, which trains the immune system to recognise the real virus.

Hospital unions across France file for indefinite strike action - Several hospital unions in France have filed notices of indefinite strike action. The move comes against the bill which is intended to make the covid vaccination compulsory for nursing staff by September 15th.

Lyon, Bastia and now Marseille are amongst several French cities where caregivers are mobilizing against the obligation to get vaccinated. According to the bill that was passed in Parliament and is currently in the hands of the Constitutional Council, caregivers must be fully vaccinated to exercise from September 15th.

In Marseille, where Sud Santé and the CGT each filed an indefinite strike notice at the Public Assistance - Hospitals of Marseille (AP-HM) and at the Édouard-Toulouse hospital, which bring together some 14,000 employees those striking are demanding the withdrawal of the bill. Gatherings are scheduled for August 5th, when the Constitutional Council will rule on the constitutionality of the bill.

Vaccination booster campaign -Meanwhile a covid vaccine booster campaign will be put in place from September in France for people who were vaccinated in January and February, that is to say those over 75 and patients at risk over 70. Elsewhere, Sweden plans to offer a booster dose of the vaccine as early as this fall, Turkey has been offering, since July 1st, a third dose to people aged 50 and over as well as to healthcare professionals. Israel, since mid-July, patients with a weak immune system can benefit from a booster and, since July 30th, those over 60 too. Germany will offer, as of September 1st, the administration of a booster dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine to the elderly and vulnerable, as well as to people who have not received a messenger RNA vaccine.

And according to the Daily Telegraph the UK government hopes to relaunch a campaign from September to 32 million people over the age of 50 or the vulnerable. To date, the French government has not extended the third dose to all French people.

In other news

Four-year-old boy drowns in private pool - A 4-and-a-half-year-old boy has drowned in a private swimming pool in Pontet, in the Vaucluse. The incident occurred on Monday August 2nd at around 5pm. Emergency services were unable to revive the child after he accidentally fell into the pool.

Accidental drownings in private pools are all too sadly a regularly occurrence during the summer. The health crisis has added to the problem with many children missing the opportunity to have swimming les