France passed a law Sunday that will exclude unvaccinated people from all restaurants, sports arenas, and other venues, one of the strictest measures taken by a country to stop the spread of COVID-19.
French President Emmanuel Macron had hoped to push the bill through faster, but it was slightly delayed by resistance from lawmakers both on the right and left and hundreds of proposed amendments. The National Assembly adopted the law by a vote of 215-58.
A COVID-19 pass was already required in France to go to restaurants, movie theaters, museums and many sites throughout the country, but unvaccinated people have been allowed in if they show a recent negative test or proof of recent recovery.
Now, unvaccinated people will be denied at the door regardless.
More than 91% of French adults are already fully vaccinated, and some critics have questioned whether the “vaccine pass” will make a significant difference.
The French government is hoping the law will slow hospitalizations without resorting to another lockdown. New restrictions would both hurt the economy and endanger Macron’s reelection in the April 10 presidential vote.
Also in the news:
►Novak Djokovic arrived early Monday in Dubai after his deportation from Australia over its required COVID-19 vaccination, ending the No. 1-ranked men’s tennis player’s hopes of defending his Australian Open title.
►Las Vegas schools are offering retention bonuses of up to $2,000 for full-time employees who remain at work during the coronavirus pandemic in response to staffing shortages.
📈 Today’s numbers: The U.S. has recorded more than 65 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 850,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Global totals: More than 327 million cases and over 5.5 million deaths. More than 208 million Americans – 62.9% – are fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
📘 What we’re reading: Looking for a COVID test? Here are tips to find at-home testing kits and get them for free.
If you’re a working parent with young kids, chances are the new year hasn’t been as happy as you’d hoped. Omicron is raging, guidance is constantly changing, vaccines aren’t approved for little children and coronavirus test kits are in short supply.
Reliable, affordable child care options are scarce. Centers cancel classes or close altogether as employees call in sick or leave their jobs. COVID-19 cases crop up at day cares, where internal spread used to be somewhat limited.
“You had so many programs that were under the impression that they weathered the worst of the storm,” said Rhian Evans Allvin, CEO of the National Association for the Education of Young Children. “Now they’re back in program-delivery crisis, and they’re back in economic crisis.” Read more here.
— Alia Wong, USA TODAY
Contributing: The Associated Press