President Macron told the Union of Local Businesses on Thursday, September 16, that the Health Pass has avoided the closure of small businesses, which would be “the worst thing.”
He said that the health situation in France has improved considerably. “If this trend continues we can begin to consider easing certain measures,” he said.
On the same day, Minister of Health,Olivier Véran said “There are still some 10,000 contaminations per day, the epidemic is not over. On the other hand, we are on a rate of reduction of at least 30 percent in one week, the hospital load in metropolitan France is decreasing – less than 2000 patients in intensive care – we are on a good trajectory.”
The average infection rate per 100,000 population has fallen to less than 100 in France as a whole. The benchmark infection rate had fallen to 143 in the Alpes-Maritimes by Thursday, September 16.
France suspends 3,000 unvaccinated health workers
Meanwhile, France has suspended 3,000 health workers without pay for refusing the coronavirus vaccine.
Health Minister Véran tried to play down any impact, saying on September 16 that only several dozen had resigned rather than have the vaccine, but as there are an estimated 2.7 million health workers in France, “continued healthcare is assured”, he said.
French health authority Santé Publique said that fewer than 12 percent of hospital staff have not been vaccinated.
Véran defended the move to make the vaccine obligatory. “It’s just the first day but there was no chaos, far from it, and the numbers of those who are vaccinated in hospitals and care homes is far, far higher than it would have been if the vaccine had not been made obligatory.”
As of September 16, 86.1 percent of French residents over 12 have received at least one jab.
Monaco is introducing its own measures to persuade health workers to have the jab, although the sanctions are softer than in France. The first punishment for unvaccinated health workers will come into effect on October 30, and will involve a reduction in salary of 50 percent for four weeks, followed by a further tightening of penalties.