Deconfinement: Travel, Cinema, Festivals… What Place for the Health Pass?

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Deconfinement: Travel, cinema, festivals… What place for the health pass?

HEALTH:  The government is considering setting up the health pass, which is currently being tested for flights to Corsica…

  • The government is currently experimenting with a health pass for flights to Corsica.
  • The use of this digital tool, making it possible to justify a negative test – and tomorrow a vaccination certificate – is today limited to travel by plane.
  • And its future scope is still under debate within the government.

The deconfinement calendar is becoming clearer. After the start of the school year, the restriction on travel beyond 10 km should be lifted from May 3. Cultural establishments, restaurants and other businesses deemed “non-essential” could reopen in stages between the beginning of May and the end of June, depending in particular on the incidence rate of Covid-19. But what about the health pass?

The bill “relating to the management of the way out of the health crisis”, presented this Wednesday in the Council of Ministers, opens the way, for travel, to this digital tool. But will its use be extended? Could it condition, tomorrow, access to the cinema or to the football stadium?

“France is the first European country to deploy this pass”

A time discarded because considered “premature”, the vaccine passport – now health pass – is now in the pipes of the government. The device, tested since Thursday for flights to Corsica, was highlighted on Tuesday during a trip to Orly airport by the Minister for Transport, Jean-Baptiste Djebarri, and the Secretary of State for Digital Transition, Cédric O.

Through the TousAntiCovid tracking application, travellers can now prove their negative PCR result (and soon their vaccination status) using a QR Code, before boarding. The experience, which should extend in the coming weeks to all of the French overseas territories, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands, foreshadows what the future European health certificate could be. “France is the first European country to deploy this pass. We hope to be able to ensure that things are generalized by mid-June in this European framework which should make border crossings more fluid, ”said Cédric O on Tuesday.

Soon set up for events in the territory?

Could this pass also become a condition of access to certain establishments, as is the case, for example, in Israel for hotels, sports halls or restaurants? “We are part of the work of the European Commission to facilitate travel between EU countries. It is the only use which is envisaged today, one says to the cabinet of Cédric O. But the debate is of topicality within the executive branch. “The sanitary pass for daily use is nowadays discarded. But there are discussions for access to some gatherings. At trade fairs or sporting events, it could be useful, ”says a government advisor.

“There is a consensus to refuse the device in restaurants, for shopping … But the debate is open for major events, such as concerts, festivals or football stadiums. There are internal debates within the government on its perimeter of use, but at this stage, it is not yet decided, ”confirms a person from the LREM executive. Who continues: “If this pass increases the number of visitors to an establishment such as a cinema tenfold, why deny it? If we want to find tourist places, that can be the cost of freedom ”.

First, access to vaccines

Asked about the subject last Friday, the Minister of Culture, Roselyne Bachelot, admitted that the track was being considered by the government, even if “it will certainly not be from the start of the reopening procedure” of cultural places. “It is a tool, it is a question of preparing it technically and of seeing its acceptability in the population because that poses ethical problems”, she estimated on BFMTV .

“I think this pass will prevail. First to get on a plane, perhaps to take the train, to go to museums, to the cinema, to closed places… But it is still too early because to generalize it, everyone must have access to vaccines, ”says Sylvain Maillard, LREM deputy and group spokesperson at the Assembly.

Little zest for everyday life

The macronists began by taking the pulse within their movement, by launching last Thursday a “consultation on the issue of the health pass”. And the opinions of walkers are divided. If 90% validate the use of the pass for air travel, they are only 50% to plebiscite it for major events, and only 30% for daily life, reports to the party.

The perimeter of the use of the health pass could be decided in the coming weeks. 

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