The prime minister spoke on Wednesday at the end of a new Defense Council in the Elysée.
“We must act.” At the end of a new Defense Council in the Elysée, Jean Castex warned of the advance of the fourth wave in France, carried by the more contagious Delta variant. The Prime Minister explained the measures taken by the executive during an interview on TF1. Here are his key announcements.
• 96% of the cases identified on Tuesday were not vaccinated
96% of the 18,000 cases of Covid-19 infection recorded on Tuesday were not vaccinated, Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Wednesday, calling on the population to get vaccinated to stop the spread of the epidemic. “We are there in the 4th wave,” said Jean Castex, specifying that the number of infections had risen by 140% in one week.
• The health pass does not apply to the school
The Prime Minister confirmed that there is no need for a health pass to enter a school, despite the call by the Supreme Health Council for it to be extended to colleges and secondary schools.
“Our whole strategy since the beginning of the crisis (…) has been to ensure that the children of France receive as much education as possible,” explains Jean Castex. “So we’re not going to say now, if you’re not vaccinated, especially since some can’t help it, we’ll rob you of school.”
In addition, the vaccination of adolescents aged 12-17 years can be done at the beginning of the school year in schools, colleges and secondary schools. “We are going to put up the package to vaccinate adolescents,” assured Jean Castex. The latter will receive an additional postponement for applying for the health card, which will only come into effect for them at the end of September.
• 5 million vaccination appointments are opened
Since Emmanuel Macron’s speech, the deadlines for obtaining a window for a first injection have been significantly extended. To remedy this, the Prime Minister ensures that 5 million appointments are opened within 15 days.
The head of government hoped that four million French people would receive their first dose in the last week of July and another four million in the first week of August. He reaffirmed his goal of reaching 40 million first vaccines in France by the end of July and set a new target of 50 million first injections by the end of August.
• One week of “pedagogy” for the health pass before the sanctions
Administrators of public institutions – including cinemas and museums since Wednesday and cafes and restaurants from August – will have to check health cards, but will not be held responsible in case of fraud. They will not be responsible for “identity verification,” he explained.
Jean Castex has also announced “a week” of “education” before the health pass renewal comes into effect. During this run-in period, no fines will be imposed on the managers of the places concerned. “Then comes the time for sanctions,” the prime minister said.
• Government vows to be “unruly” in light of anti-health pass “violence”
The government will be “unruly” against those who “come to acts of violence” by protesting vaccination or the health pass by “taking an ideological stance, even politically,” Jean Castex assured.
“We have the right to demonstrate”, but “we will be persistent with those who (…) commit acts of violence”, “refer to the yellow star or the Shoah, attack parliamentarians’ hotlines, set fire to vaccination centers” , which is “very serious,” the prime minister added.