Minister of Health Olivier Véran made it very clear on Tuesday in the National Assembly that the country’s strategy is based on herd immunity.

He told assembled parliamentarians that France now has a weapon to fight coronavirus, vaccination.

“The time is no longer for doubts, for hesitation, the time is for collective immunity. It is a collective responsibility and it is the only way we have to get rid of coronavirus once and for all,” he said.

His speech came during a debate on the controversial Health Pass, which will allow access to bars, restaurants and places of entertainment, plus flights and long-distance train services.

He said that the Health Pass is necessary because the country does not have enough time to fully-vaccinate its population.

In the past 24 hours, 18,000 new cases of coronavirus were reported, compared to fewer than 7,000 last Tuesday. “We have never seen this,” he added, referring to the pace of increase.

On Monday evening government spokesman Gabriel Attal said that France has already entered a fourth wave of the virus.

FILE PHOTO: People queue for tickets as Paris’ iconic Eiffel Tower reopens its doors to tourists since late October 2020, after the second national COVID-19 lockdown in Paris, France, July 16, 2021. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol/File Photo