France to Imprison Vaccine Passport-Defying Business Owners for up to 1 Year

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A woman holds a placard reading "We are not laboratory subjects! Freedom to refuse experimental injection"during a demonstration against the Macron administration’s use of mandatory vaccine passports, which come with jail time for businesses and individuals who circumvent them, to erode the nation’s vaccine hesitancy in Nantes, western France, on July 17, 2021.
A woman holds a placard reading "We are not laboratory subjects! Freedom to refuse experimental injection" during a demonstration against the Macron administration’s use of mandatory vaccine passports, which come with jail time for businesses and individuals who circumvent them, to erode the nation’s vaccine hesitancy in Nantes, western France, on July 17, 2021. (Image: SEBASTIEN SALOM-GOMIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Draft text of a new French law announced by President Emmanuel Macron on July 12 requiring citizens to present a clean Health Pass QR code scan, the country’s vaccine passport app, to prove their vaccination status or a negative SARS-CoV-2 PCR test contains a provision for prison time for business owners and individuals who circumvent the rules, according to reports. 

Macron’s new restriction will apply to any citizens wishing to enter the nation’s bars, restaurants, theatres, shopping centers, or hospitals, and also applies to public transit.

The changes come with heavy penalties to those who choose to defy the policy. On June 15, The Guardian reported individuals who are caught inside such venues and unable to provide a valid vaccine passport code scan will face up to six months in jail and/or a €10,000 fine, while business owners who do not enforce vaccine passports will face up to a year in prison and/or a €45,000 fine. 

As a result of France installing a system all-too-analogous to the notorious color-coded social credit system QR scan the Chinese Communist Party used to put a stranglehold on Wuhan residents at the beginning of the outbreak, many French have surrendered their vaccine hesitancy.

In December of 2020, an Ipsos poll in partnership with the globalist World Economic Forum found France was the country with the highest rate of vaccine hesitancy. Only 40 percent said they intended to take the injection when it became available, compared to China who led the pack at 80 percent. 

72 percent of French respondents said they were concerned about side effects. 

A July 19 article by New York Times said as a result of the Macron administration’s vaccine passport requirements, 1.7 million people booked an appointment the same day to schedule an injection. On Friday, July 16, 880,000 people submitted to a dose of one variety of the experimental vaccines available on the market.

According to the NYT vaccine tracker, 40 percent of the country’s 67 million citizens are now fully vaccinated and 55 percent have taken one dose. The Guardian said that France’s primary medical appointment website, Doctolib, was expecting to push 4.5 million injections a week. 

But not all French are so submissive. NYT also said more than 100,000 hit the streets to protest what they call “dictatorship.” Sensing their country is embarking on a slippery slope towards formal totalitarianism, some protestors “Wore a yellow star that said ‘nonvaccinated,’ others carried signs or shouted slogans that compared the health pass to a Nazi-era measure.”

BBC reported on July 19 that two vaccine sites had been vandalized by protestors. One was flooded with a firehose, the second targeted by arson. 

NYT also claimed, citing French websites, that polling showed “broad support for Mr. Macron’s muscular strategy.” The Guardian, who referred to the measures as a “big stick approach to vaccination,” reported that the approval rate was 65 percent. 

Health Minister Olivier Veran said on the day of the announcement, “The choice is between another lockdown or the health pass – this is not punishment, nor blackmail,” according to The Guardian. 

A spokesperson for a French hotel and catering industries association told the UK paper of the measures, “Our role is to welcome people, to give pleasure. This will turn us into gendarmes.”

Earlier in July, media reports and officials from Michigan and a Boston University research article based on Michigan found that vaccine acceptance lottery initiatives did almost nothing to erode vaccine hesitancy.

  • Neil lives in Canada and writes about society and politics.