As the worldwide number of COVID-19 cases continues to climb rapidly due to the emergence of the highly transmissible Delta variant, some governments are taking strict measures to protect their citizens.
For example, earlier this week, France’s parliament passed a decree which immediately requires people to have a type of COVID-19 pass to visit museums, cultural locations such as the Eiffel Tower, and even movie theaters. A similar decree was passed in Italy this week — although it won’t go into effect until August.
Earlier this week, France reported 18,000 new cases of COVID-19 in just over 24 hours. Of those cases, 96 percent of the people were unvaccinated, a France24 article reports.
“That means we have an increase in the spread of the virus of around 150 percent in the last week,” Health Minister Olivier Véran told France’s parliament as it began debate on the stricter rules, the article reports. “We’ve never seen that before.”
France’s parliament did pass the decree, which is considered to be the first step in a new campaign to protect the country against what the government calls a “stratospheric” rise in infections.
Effective immediately, visitors will need the so-called passe sanitaire — or health pass — to go up the Eiffel Tower, visit the Louvre or other museums, see a movie, or even attend a sporting event in France. To get the pass, people must provide documentation showing they are either fully vaccinated against COVID-19, have a negative virus test, or recently recovered from an infection.
Beginning in August, the health pass will also be required at all restaurants, cafes, and shopping centers in France, President Emmanuel Macron announced in a televised address, the article reports.
As Italy deals with a spike in COVID-19 cases, its government also passed a decree this week requiring people to have a COVID pass to attend places including gyms, museums, movie theaters, indoor restaurants, and sporting events. Use of these Green passes will begin August 6, an Associated Press article reports.
Implementing this requirement is necessary “to keep economic activity open” because it will allow people to go out “with the assurance they won’t be next to contagious people,” Premier Mario Draghi said.
To apply for the Green pass, which can be downloaded, people must provide documentation showing they have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose in the last nine months, recovered from an infection in the last six months, or tested negative in the previous 48 hours. Roughly 40 million people in Italy have already downloaded a Green pass, according to Health Minister Roberto Speranza, the article reports.
Know Before You Go
According to Our World in Data, 28.1 million people in Italy have been fully vaccinated, which is 46.6 percent of the population. In France, 29.4 million people have been fully vaccinated, which is 43.8 percent of the country’s population.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains that Italy has a “High Level of COVID-19.” Due to the current situation, the CDC notes that all travelers to Italy “may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants.”
The CDC notes that France also has a “High Level of COVID-19.” Again, due to the current situation, the CDC cautions that all travelers to France “may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants.”