Picture used for illustrative purposes only.
Gulf Today Report
Nearly 1,000,000 people in France rushed to set up appointments to get vaccinated on Monday night after President Emmanuel Macron warned that people would see curbs imposed on them if they did not have a health pass that covered a vaccine or negative coronavirus test.
Thousands of citizens scrambled to book coronavirus shots after the president’s warning that a ‘health pass’ would be needed to go to inns and restaurants from August as France reports 1,260 new coronavirus cases on Monday.
Minutes after Macron's national address, users of Doctolib's website and mobile phone app received an message advising that due to the large number of connections they would have to keep their browser open until the site could process their request.
In a televised address, Macron also mandated special COVID-19 passes for anyone who wanted to go to a restaurant, shopping mall or hospital or get on a train or plane. To get a pass, people must have proof they’re fully vaccinated, or recently recovered from the virus, or have taken a fresh negative virus test.
President Emmanuel Macron waves during an event.
The Delta variant is driving France’s virus infections back up again, just as the country kicked off the summer vacation season after a long-awaited reopening. Some 40% of France’s population is fully inoculated.
"Get vaccinated!" was the president's overall message. He even tweeted a GIF of himself repeating the phrase.
"The country is facing a strong resumption of the epidemic touching all our territory,” Macron said, speaking against the backdrop of the Eiffel Tower. Warning of a new wave of potential hospitalisations in August, he said, "The equation is simple. The more we vaccinate, the less space we leave this virus to circulate.”
Unveiling sweeping measures to combat a surge in infections, Emmanuel Macron said vaccinations would not be compulsory for the general public for now but stressed that restrictions would focus on those who are not vaccinated.
France reports 1,260 new coronavirus cases on Monday.
The president said health workers had to get vaccinated by Sept.15 or face consequences.
Stanislas Niox-Chateau, who heads Doctolib, one of the country's biggest online websites used to book vaccine appointments, told RMC radio there were record numbers seeking vaccines after the president's announcement.
"There were 7.5 million connections on Doctolib in a few minutes. More than 900,000 French people made their vaccination appointment yesterday, which is twice the last record which dated from May 11," Niox-Chateau said.
Macron was to hold a meeting with his prime minister, top military adviser, intelligence coordinator and ministers of health, the interior and foreign affairs on the health crisis before giving a televised address at 8:00pm (1900 GMT).
French President Emmanuel Macron announced on Wednesday a new coronavirus lockdown until at least Dec.1, hoping to bring under control an outbreak that is poised to overwhelm hospitals in a matter of days.
France will have to live with the coronavirus at least until next summer, President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday. Macron, who was speaking during a visit to a hospital in Pointoise, near Paris, said there were no plans at this stage to reduce curfews aimed
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