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Extended health pass and compulsory vaccination of health workers: what the law says

Publié le 14 octobre 2021 - Legal and Administrative Information Directorate (Prime Minister)

Crédits : © Romain TALON - stock.adobe.com

mobile phone with a mask next to it reading "Health Passport - Ministry of Health"

Health pass extended to bars, restaurants and on board trains for long journeys, vaccination required for health workers, suspension of the employment contract... Due to the alarming circulation of the Delta variant throughout the territory, new health measures are put in place as of August 9, 2021 to curb a strong recovery of the Covid-19 epidemic. Service-Public.fr details these provisions in the Law on the Management of the Health Crisis promulgated on 6 August 2021 in Official Journal following the announcement by the President of the Republic of 12 July 2021. A decree issued on 8 August 2021 specifies certain modalities.

The health emergency exit regime , established by the Act of 31 May 2021 until 30 September 2021, shall be extended until 15 November 2021. During this period, the Government may take certain measures to limit travel or access to certain establishments. A draft law submitted to the Council of Ministers on 13 October 2021 extends the health crisis management regime until 31 July 2022, including the possibility to mobilise, if the health situation so requires, certain health measures to brake, such as the supervision of the activities of establishments receiving the public (ERP) and the sanitary pass. The bill will be considered by members on October 19 and 20, 2021.

The CNIL gave its opinion on the changes introduced by the law on the management of the health crisis on 9 August 2021.

The sanitary pass is extended

Initially introduced until 30 September 2021, the sanitary pass can now be imposed until 15 November 2021.

Already obligatory for travellers to or from France and since 21 July 2021 in all places planned for cultural, sports and leisure activities as well as fairs and lounges accommodating more than 50 people, sanitary becomes also payable from 9 August 2021 in places of conviviality (bars, cafes, restaurants...), health places (hospitals, Ehpad, retirement homes..), long distance public transport (planes, trains, interregional buses) and shopping centres above 20 000 m2 where the incidence rate is less than 200/100,000. The 50-person threshold disappears from 9 August 2021 except for seminars outside the company.

The sanitary pass is required:

From 7 August to 14 September 2021 inclusive, staff of health and medical-social establishments and services, subject to the vaccination requirement must present a certificate of recovery or a negative test if they are not vaccinated.

  Please note : Failure to present a pass may result in a minimum fine €135. The fraudulent use of a health pass is punishable by a fine of €135(6 months imprisonment and €3,750 fines if this occurs more than 3 times in 30 days).

Traders and professionals who do not control the pass are liable to a fine of €1 000, a formal notice and a possible temporary closure of the establishment, followed by a one-year prison sentence and a fine of €9,000 fine.

Mask Port

In places where the sanitary pass is required, the wearing of the mask is no longer mandatory for persons with the pass. However, the organiser, the operator and the Prefect may make this mandatory. Thus, in aeroplanes, coaches and TGVs, the mask must continue to be worn. Staff working in these establishments are not affected by this exemption from wearing masks.

  Please note : Following the Defence Council of 11 August 2021, the government spokesperson announced that in departments where the incidence rate exceeds 200 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, prefects must re-establish the mandatory indoor mask in places where the public is present.

Compulsory vaccination of carers

Vaccination against Covid-19 is mandatory, except against medical indication, for persons working in health and medical-social institutions and services . These include:

  • medical professionals and paramedics who work as a liberal or in hospitals, clinics, Ehpad and nursing homes, as well as professionals, students or students who work in these institutions;
  • professionals in contact with vulnerable persons, such as firefighters, ambulance workers, employees at the homes of certain recipients of the personalised autonomy allowance (APA) or the disability compensation benefit (PCH).

This requirement for a caregiver's vaccination is implemented in 2 stages by 15 October 2021:

  • from 7 August 2021 until 14 September 2021: health professionals who do not have a complete vaccination plan will be given the opportunity to present a certificate of recovery or a non-contamination test or a medical certificate of contraindication, which may include a date of validity;
  • from 15 September 2021 until 15 October 2021 (date of entry into force of the vaccination obligation): professionals subject to the vaccination obligation will be allowed to carry out their activity provided that they can justify the administration of at least one of the doses required under the multi-dose vaccination plan and present the result of a non-contamination test.

Failure to vaccinate on time will result in employees or public officials being suspended without pay. However, dismissal in case of failure to vaccinate Covid is not possible.

Vaccinating adolescents

For Covid-19 testing and vaccination of minors aged 12 and two months to 16 years, the agreement of only one parent is necessary. Adolescents over the age of 16 may decide to be vaccinated alone, without parental permission. For more information, see this news.

Immunisation absence

The employees and public officials are granted leave of absence to attend medical appointments related to Covid-19 vaccinations (including accompanying a minor child).

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France 2021, les données clés