France is set to scrap the mandate requiring a Covid vaccine passport to access indoor venues and public transport. Face masks will no longer be mandatory indoors.
The restriction will expire on March 14, Prime Minister Jean Castex said in a press release Thursday.
At present, those aged 12 to 15 must submit a negative Covid test taken within the last 24 hours or proof of a recent infection to access public indoor places or long-distance public transportation.
Those aged 16 to 18 must have a vaccine pass or proof of vaccination or proof of recovery dated more than 11 days but less than six months before accessing public services and venues.
Anyone over the age of 18 and one month must show proof of vaccination, which is only valid if it includes a booster dose.
“After the 5th wave of Covid-19 of unprecedented magnitude, the health situation has improved markedly for several weeks,” the Minister said.
“In particular, the pressure weighing on hospitals due to the epidemic is greatly reduced, allowing the lifting of white plans and a gradual resumption of scheduled activities,” he added.
To safeguard people who are highly vulnerable to the virus, the vaccine passport will still be required in hospitals, institutions for the disabled, and elderly homes.
In the same line, public face coverings will still be required at public transport.
These restrictions could also be removed removed “soon” said French Health Minister Olivier Véran in a statement for BFM TV.
“When we have emptied intensive care units, or at least (…) when there is no further cancellation of procedures and if no new variant is in circulation, then the utility of the vaccine pass will be debatable,” the Minister said.
The minister noted that such conditions could be achieved around July.
“The vaccine pass will come to an end, and judging by current trends, it is likely that the end will come before the month of July,” he noted.
On March 3, France added over 30 countries to its green list, allowing international tourists to enter the territory without having to undergo testing as long as they are vaccinated.
The United State will remind in the orange list, which means Americans must still present proof of vaccination.