The French government has been enforcing strict COVID vaccination policies to encourage all eligible members of the country to get their due jabs. To enter restaurants, events, cinemas and a plethora of other venues, people have to either present their digital COVID pass which certifies that they are fully vaccinated, or prove that they are COVID negative with PCR or antigen test results.
Mandatory vaccination for healthcare workers
In July, French President Emmanuel Macron announced that health workers would have until 15 September to get at least one of their vaccinations done, or they would have to resign. He said:
I am aware of what I am asking of you, and I know that you are ready for this commitment, this is part, in a way, of your sense of duty.
This Wednesday (15 September), vaccination for all healthcare workers became mandatory and as a result around 3,000 staff were suspended without pay because they had failed to get their jabs in time. According to the BBC, this has led to a staff shortage in hospitals around the country, and particularly in the south where vaccine-hesitancy is more widespread.
Suspensions for the unvaccinated
Health minister Olivier Véran spoke about the issue on RTL radio, and clarified that most of the suspensions will be temporary. He said:
A large number of these suspensions will be temporary.
They involved mostly personnel in support service, like those working in laundry or food preparation.
Many of them have decided to get vaccinated now the obligation to do so has become a reality.
Meanwhile, in Italy, the government is implementing compulsory COVID vaccination rules not just for healthcare workers but for all employees. From 15 October, all unvaccinated workers who try to go to their jobs will have to pay a fine of between €600 and €1,500.