The Delta variant of the coronavirus that causes Covid-19 originated in India and made its way to Europe and the United Kingdom. At first, it seemed like their problem. Those unlucky people living across the pond had to once again wear masks and limit social gatherings. But then the Delta variant arrived in America and is now causing an increased in infections and limiting our personal freedoms.
Many Europeans will soon be required to carry proof of vaccination with them at all times if they want to freely move about their own countries and participate in society. France recently approved a law requiring a special virus pass for all domestic travel and restaurant entry. People must prove they are fully vaccinated, recently tested negative, or recently recovered from the virus in order to receive a pass. The pass comes in digital or paper forms and will be required to enter all restaurants, planes, trains, and certain other public venues.
The law also requires workers in the healthcare section to get vaccinated or possibly be suspended starting September 15. Only adults are included in the initial requirement. By September 30, everyone over age 12 will be required to get the vaccine or be denied entry into places that require the “health pass.”
Italians only need one dose of the vaccine to get their country’s “green pass.” Leaders of the two countries decided that the vaccine passports are necessary to increase vaccination rates and help the undecided to make up their minds.
Many citizens do not agree with their governments’ efforts to make them get vaccinated. Around 204,000 people protested in France against the virus passes. In Paris, protesters held signs that read “Freedom” and “No to the vaccine passport.”
Anti-vaccine protests also took place across the border in Italy. Marchers took to the streets in major cities including Rome, Naples, and Milan. In Milan, protesters chanted “Truth!” “Shame!” and “Liberty!” while those in Rome carried a banner that read “Resistance.”
Over 52% of France’s population has been vaccinated. Approximately 112,000 people have died from Covid-19 in the country since the start of the pandemic over a year ago. Just over 50% of people in America are fully vaccinated, and the deaths of 629,000 people have been attributed to Covid. Accuracy of the records are sometimes doubted.
The U.S. government said they would not impose a federally required vaccine passport for domestic use, but that was back in April before the Delta variant unleashed a fresh wave of concern and regulations. But business associations and individual companies can require customers to show proof of vaccination or a recent negative test in order to enter their store or restaurant.
In effect, people would need to carry whatever form of proof is required to enter the restaurant, bar, gym, museum, or other establishment that they want to enter. Several forms might be needed throughout the course of a single day. The Biden administration is staying out of it, but the limitations can still be rolled out. People’s choices regarding which business they support will determine how long the restrictions last.