In a televised address on Tuesday evening, President Emmanuel Macron announced that over-65s must have had a third dose of vaccine, starting on December 15, in order for their Health Passes to remain valid.
The move is a clear attempt to accelerate the take-up of booster shots, and it must be expected that younger age groups will soon be included in the mandatory third vaccine regime. There will be no return to curfews or lockdowns, but checks on Health Pass compliance will be reinforced, he said.
From December 1, 50-64 year-olds will be eligible for a third dose.
Other key points in Macron’s address, in which he repeatedly referred to the need for communal efforts, solidarity, and the building of a stronger France, added up to an election speech. He said that the recruitment of 10,000 new police officers is already having an effect on the crime rate. The French presidential election takes place next April.
The president also announced a new programme to build nuclear power stations, in order to underline the country’s energy independence, he said.
In an appeal to voters on the right, he said that those seeking unemployment benefit must be able to demonstrate that they worked for at least six months in the previous 24.
Macron needed his address by saying that although the country has been living with a great deal of anxiety, citizens should congratulate themselves on the way that France is emerging from the pandemic.
SCREENSHOT: President Macron addresses the nation on November 9