Covid-19: France launches controversial vaccine pass as fourth wave hits
French cinemas, museums and sports venues began asking visitors Wednesday to furnish proof of Covid-19 vaccination or a negative test as the country, which is in the throes of a fourth wave of infections, rolled out a controversial vaccine passport system. Prime Minister Jean Castex defended the "health pass" as the best way to prevent a fourth nationwide lockdown. The "health pass" is now required for all events or places with more than 50 people before being extended to restaurants, cafes and shopping centres in August. Dr. Joseph Downing, French Politics Expert at London School of Economics, sees the current situation as "really problematic" for France and the French prime minister. Castex "is offering society a key to avoid another lockdown and alot of society is rejecting it." Dr. Downing describes two major issues that are putting France at incredible risk during this fourth wave: lagging vaccination rates and fraudulent health passes. "Now that the Delta variant has taken off in France, it's extremely worrying that they have much lower vaccination rates (than the UK) because people are very reluctant to take it up. There's also an issue here with fraudulent health passes. You can buy a fraudulent health pass off of social media for 300 euros. So even if people have a health pass, and say that they are vaccinated, they may not be and this is really quite serious."