France’s parliament on Monday approved a law to tackle a fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic despite massive protests against the measures.
The new law makes vaccinations against COVID-19 mandatory for health workers, who risk suspension if they don’t take the jab by September 15.
It also requires special health passes for people to enter various social venues, including restaurants and bars, from the beginning of August.
France had already denied visitors’ entry to museums, cinemas or swimming pools without proof of vaccination against the virus or a recent negative test.
The measures contained in the bill — which still needs approval from the constitutional court — are due to expire November 15.
Around 161,000 people protested on Saturday against the COVID pass.
Just under 50% of France’s 67 million population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Here’s a look at the latest coronavirus news in other parts of the world:
Australia’s New South Wales state has reported a rise in new coronavirus infections, with 145 cases recorded Monday, up from 141 a day earlier.
Massive anti-lockdown protests erupted over the weekend in Sydney, which is under a weekslong stay-at-home order.
Out of the newly diagnosed cases, 51 were active in the community before testing positive, raising the risk of transmission. State officials said they want that number to drop to zero in order to lift the restrictions.
“Some settings might change. We might need to go harder in some areas and release some settings in others,” said Gladys Berejiklian, the state premier.
Meanwhile, Victoria state reported 11 new infections, although all were in quarantine during their infectious period. Authorities in Victoria said they would decide the next day whether to lift restrictions as hoped.
South Korea has started vaccinating people aged 55 to 59 amid the fourth wave of COVID-19.
Earlier this month, South Korea had halted rolling out the coronavirus jab for this age group after available supplies were exhausted and the official reservation website crashed due to high demand.
Tokyo Olympics organizers reported 16 new Games-related coronavirus cases on Monday — bringing the total number since July 1 to 148.
The Tokyo Games are being held without spectators amid a rise in coronavirus infections in Japan in recent weeks.
The United States First Lady Jill Biden urged Hawaiians to get the jab as the coronavirus delta variant surges through much of the country.
“I’m here to ask everyone listening right now, to choose to get vaccinated,” Biden said as she visited a pop-up coronavirus vaccination clinic in Waipahu, Hawaii.
She said the virus has become “more contagious than ever,” calling on the unvaccinated to “help us move past this virus once and for all.”
Hawaii’s seven-day daily average for new infections increased 192% from July 10 to Friday, the Associated Press reported, citing the state’s health department.
Ghana’s president, Nana Akufo-Addo, said his country was hoping to receive at least 18 million doses of the coronavirus jab before October.
His remarks came as coronavirus cases rise across West Africa.
“Our nation is experiencing a third wave of COVID-19 infections,” Akufo-Addo said. “These increased infections have largely been driven by the delta variant.”
Ghana is buying 17 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the president said, adding that the government is also receiving 1 million doses of the BioNTech-Pfizer jab from the US.
The number of coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 958 and deaths rose by three, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases reported on Monday. The seven-day incidence on Monday was 14.3, up from 13.8 the previous day, according to the RKI.
fb/nm (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)