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Vaccination pass: the bill, modified compared to that of the National Assembly, examined by the Senate

The examination of the bill transforming the health pass into a vaccination pass is examined from this Tuesday afternoon in the Senate. The debates can continue on Wednesday including during the evenings. Contrary to the heated debates in the National Assembly after the controversial remarks of Emmanuel Macron, ready to “piss off the unvaccinated”, the LR chairman of the Laws Commission François-Noël Buffet wished for a “peaceful and serious debate. “

“The solid majority which will vote it will be vigilant on a certain number of conditions, in particular the defense of freedoms, the limitation in time and the always control of the Parliament”, warned the president LR Gérard Larcher on France Inter. He admitted that about twenty senators from his party will not support the vaccination pass. According to him, the vote will be done with the objective “of bringing better health security to the French. “

The Minister of Health Olivier Véran, whom the senators reproach for being rare at the Luxembourg Palace, will also be present for the opening of the debates.

In principle, this text should be easily adopted. “We will vote overwhelmingly the vaccine pass,” promised the president of the LR group Bruno Retailleau, in an interview with Echoes. The centrists should be on the same line. Ditto for the PS senators who can hardly oppose the text while they advocate a general vaccination obligation. But they reserve their position. On the left, the predominantly communist CRCE group, already firmly opposed to the health pass, sees the vaccination pass as “a new step in the attack on fundamental freedoms”.

A modified text compared to that of the National Assembly

Still, the text may be changed. As adopted by the deputies, the project provides that those over 12 must be able to justify a vaccination status to access leisure activities, restaurants and bars, fairs or interregional public transport. A negative test will no longer suffice, except for access to health establishments and services. The deputies postponed from 12 to 16 years the need for a vaccination pass for school trips and peri and extracurricular activities.

For their part, in committee, the senators simplified things by planning to limit the possibility of requiring the presentation of a vaccination pass to people over 18 years of age. Minors aged 12 to 17 would remain subject to the obligation to present a health pass.

Another major modification, which the Republicans are particularly keen on: Philippe Bas has provided for a mechanism for “automatic extinction” of the vaccination pass. Thus, it could only be imposed when the number of hospitalizations linked to Covid-19 exceeds 10,000 patients nationally and automatically disappears below this threshold. Hospitals now have nearly 23,000 patients sick with Covid, according to figures from health authorities. Below the threshold of 10,000 patients, the vaccination pass could only be maintained in the departments where the complete vaccination rate is less than 80% of the population and with a high incidence rate.

Once the bill has been passed by the Senate, deputies and senators will meet in a joint committee to try to find an agreement on a common version. Possibly from Thursday, according to a parliamentary source. In case of failure, a new reading will be organized in both chambers. The Assembly would have the last word, but the timetable could be difficult to keep, especially in the event of an appeal to the Constitutional Council.

The government is now advancing the date of January 17 for the entry into force of the law, a “playable” objective, judged the Minister responsible for Relations with Parliament Marc Fesneau.

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