France will step up its vaccination campaign, as the country is currently experiencing a fourth wave, with the number of cases rising by 140% in one week, said Prime Minister Jean Castex.
Of the 18,000 confirmed cases that were reported on Tuesday, 96% involved people who had not been vaccinated, according to Castex, who stressed the importance of vaccinating the population even faster, especially in light of the more infectious Delta variant.
That is why, over the next two weeks, five million extra vaccination appointments will be made available for people who want to be vaccinated.
The government now aiming to administer 50 million first doses by the end of August, which is a quarter more than the target of 40 million that was set in June.
"This is a very ambitious target, but it also shows that we have understood the gravity of the situation," Castex said.
Additionally, he gave more details about the announced extension of the health pass - which allows people to prove they are fully vaccinated, have recovered from Covid-19 or have tested negative - to bars, restaurants and public transport from early August.
During the first week, the police will apply a policy of tolerance, Castex promised, but "the time for sanctions will come afterwards," he stressed.
However, Castex also stressed that the pass would not be used in schools. From today/Wednesday, the health pass will be valid in cinemas, theatres, museums, swimming pools and amusement parks, among other places.
Castex also warned "those who resort to violence" in their protest against vaccinations, by using "references to the Star of David, attacking parliamentary offices and setting fire to vaccination centres" that the government will be "merciless."
The Brussels Times