Vaccinated French over-65s who have not yet received a booster vaccine will begin having their Covid passes disabled.
France launched the new, tougher rules on Wednesday, which sees vaccinated French people over 65 who have not received a booster vaccine for the Chinese coronavirus beginning to see their Covid passes disabled, despite once being considered fully jabbed.
The new measure will affect those who received their last vaccination over seven months ago, with those who have not been subsequently jabbed losing access to cafés, restaurants, and inter-regional travel unless they have a negative Covid-19 test taken within the last 24 hours.
According to a report by Le Monde, 400,000 people are on the threshold of losing their passes due to the new measure.
Health Minister Olivier Véran had announced late last month that from mid-December, “the health pass for people over 65 will no longer be active if the booster has not been given within seven months of infection or after the last injection ”.
While those under the age of 65 are not yet affected by the rule, the French government has announced that it is set to be expanded to all those 18 and older in January, making it so that all adults without a booster after seven months will lose their passes.
The booster clampdown comes as other European countries ramp up restrictions in the face of the Omicron variant of Covid-19.
Like France, the EU has also announced plans to strip individuals without booster shots of their Covid passes.
The new amendment to the EU system, announced in November, will see coronavirus passes recognised within the union expire after nine months from when the last vaccine dose was administered to the holder.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has also requested that an EU-wide vaccination mandate be considered, in a move described by one politician within the bloc as the “Chinafication of Europe”.
“How we can encourage and potentially think about mandatory vaccination within the European Union, this needs discussion,” the commission president said. “This needs a common approach, but it is a discussion that I think has to be met.”
Meanwhile, a Labour politician in the UK has said that those who have up until now been seen as vaccinated should no longer be considered though.
“To think about it as a booster is almost behind the curve,” Shadow Treasury Secretary Pat McFadden told Sky News. “To be fully vaccinated against this new variant, you’re going to need three jabs.”
Other European politicians are also starting to suggest that even three jabs are likely not enough, with Irish Deputy Prime Minister (Tánaiste) Leo Varadkar having said that the public will likely need at least four doses to combat Covid.
“I think it’s advisable that people get the third dose – and then they may well then get a fourth dose later down the line, because the evidence from Israel is that unfortunately, immunity wanes from third dose as well,” the Irish Independent reports the senior government politician as saying.
Varadkar went on to say that Covid vaccination may become an annual requirement, saying that coronavirus would become a seasonal matter “like we have with the flu”.