The French now have to present a health pass to enter restaurants and bars, even on terraces, which for some is “a relief” and for others “a blackmail” by the Government to encourage vaccination.

The traditional visit to Paris bars after work, the ‘apéro’, is now only possible upon presentation of a health pass, on paper or with a QR code, ensuring that the customer is vaccinated against covid. 19, had a test less than 72 hours ago with a negative result or has proof of re-establishment of the disease.

In the Parisian area of ​​Chatelet, with a great concentration of bars and restaurants, Melanie had difficulty on Monday night in getting a PCR test, in August, in order to access the terrace with a friend.

I arrived here at the café, I explained straight away that I didn’t have a health pass and the employee told me that there was no problem. We sat down and here we are having a drink”, explained in statements to Lusa.

Since the end of July, the health pass has been mandatory in cultural spaces, such as cinemas or museums, but it is now also mandatory in long-distance trains, trade fairs and even hospitals, if it does not put patient care at risk.

Melanie is against the health pass and, for now, she doesn’t plan on getting vaccinated.

I do not accept that they kill democracy and that they deprive us of all freedoms. I’m not against vaccination itself, but this type of vaccination I don’t think is very useful if we can continue to catch and transmit the virus. I think the state is blackmailing us”, declared.

Since it was announced that the health pass would be mandatory in August to go to bars and restaurants, millions of French people have decided to get vaccinated, but it was also there that movements against this imposition began, which last Saturday brought almost 300,000 people to the streets in France.

Emilie, Patricia and Marie, who were sitting on a Monday night on a terrace by the Stravinsky Fountain, at the foot of the Pompidou Centre, do not understand what drives so many people to demonstrate on Saturdays, nor what leads to such resistance in relation to the vaccine.

“I know it’s not the health pass that will touch the most reticent people, because in France the only thing that makes people change their minds is when you touch their wallet. Nobody has to pay for other people’s choices,” said Patricia.

Later on, two couples from Lyon were having dinner as they enjoyed the holiday evening, and commented that they didn’t understand the protests either.

These manifestations unnerve me. I’m a doctor and I don’t understand these behaviors. I don’t even think it has anything to do with vaccines, it was an issue that became politicized”, said Thibault, who is currently retired.

His wife, Joseane, explained that she got vaccinated as soon as she got it, as her ex-husband died of covid-19 five days after the diagnosis. The fact that she had been asked for a health pass when she arrived at this Parisian restaurant, soothed her.

It’s a relief to know that everyone around us is tested or vaccinated”, confided the French coming from Lyon.

Lucille, who was with her boyfriend on another terrace, on a night off from her job in catering, will also have to start demanding a health pass from her clients.

We’ve been waiting for people to return for so long and now we’re going to have to control them and even send them away if they don’t have the pass. We’ll have to play the police, but we don’t have a choice”, declared.

Having customers in restaurants without a health pass can cost the owners up to 9,000 euros in fines, which also means that employees have to be vaccinated, although there is no obligation.

Either I get vaccinated or I can’t continue to work. I will stop with unemployment”, Lucille said.

The only sector where vaccination is mandatory in order to work is the health sector and this measure will be implemented as of September 15, giving the most reluctant opportunity to be vaccinated.

As for the obligation of health passes in bars and restaurants, the French authorities admitted a further week of tolerance until police checks began.


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