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French opposition votes to end Covid pass — Analysis

MPs from the left and right joined forces against France’s coronavirus passport system

French lawmakers have voted to end the country’s Covid-19 pass, rejecting a provision that would have reinstated the program for those traveling to and from the country after the government’s emergency powers expire at the end of the month.

France’s lower chamber voted 219-195 on Tuesday to amend a major health bill and remove the passport measure, seeing the right-wing National Rally party unite with populist-left faction La France Insoumise.

The legislation will now make its way to the Senate, where recently elected Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne vowed to “fight so that the spirit of responsibility wins.”

“The situation is serious. You can vote together against measures that protect French citizens against Covid [opposition parties] prevent any border control against the virus,”She said it in an tweetFollowing the vote.

On July 31st, an emergency national health order will expire. The new bill for health will then take effect. Although the current law allows authorities to take coronavirus tests results from foreign citizens, it does not allow them to block entry to France on the basis of their vaccination or health status. Although France granted travel permission from many countries, and does not require individuals to present such documentation, the law was strongly opposed by MPs.

Similar limitations on public venues will also be eliminated under the law. However, the current health pass only covers hospitals and nursing homes.

Although the passport provision was rejected, legislators approved 221-187 to allow the government’s contact-tracing efforts to go on well into next year.

France’s ruling coalition failed to win an absolute majority in June’s parliamentary elections, forcing it to rely on the support of opposition parties in order to pass bills in the lower house. A deputy from the center-right Republicans – Sebastien Chenu, who also serves as vice president of the lower chamber – hailed the outcome of Tuesday’s vote, arguing the opposition had “done its job.”

“We have reinstated our freedom,”He said that, and added: “the government cannot do everything with a bulldozer like it’s been doing for the past five years.”

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