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The bill to counter the outbreak of the Covid-19 epidemic, with the controversial extension of the health pass, awaits the verdict of the Constitutional Council on Thursday.
The Constitutional Council decides, Thursday, August 5, on the law relating to the management of the health crisis which is debated among the population, in particular on the subject of the health pass.
The opinion – expected at the end of the afternoon – of the Sages of the rue de Montpensier conditions the implementation, total or in part, of the government’s strategy. But it could also influence the mobilization and the arguments of those who denounce a “liberticidal” text.
The text was adopted in an accelerated procedure by the National Assembly and the Senate on July 25, after six days of heated debates and several inflections. The Constitutional Council was then seized by the government and three groups of more than 60 parliamentarians each, two of senators and one of deputies.
If it is validated, in whole or for the most part, by the guarantor of the Constitution and fundamental freedoms, the executive has promised rapid entry into force.
Decide on sensitive measures
The extension of the health pass to cafes, restaurants, fairs, trade shows, air travel or long train trips is scheduled for Monday, August 9 by the government. Ditto for medical establishments – except in emergencies – or even, by prefectural decision, shopping centers.
Conversely, a rejection of the text or its main provisions would constitute a major setback for the government, which would be forced to abandon it or submit a new version to the two chambers. And a major victory for his opponents. Between the two, the Constitutional Council can content itself with censoring certain technical provisions or modalities, which could then be withdrawn from the text to be promulgated.
In addition to the health pass and its control extended to coffee shops, the Wise Men must review a number of other sensitive measures: isolation of infected people, compulsory vaccination of certain personnel including caregivers and sanctions against refractory employees.
On May 31, the Constitutional Council had already approved the principle of the health pass – proof of vaccination, negative test for Covid-19 or certificate of recovery -, but this device was at the time limited to large gatherings such as festivals.
The Élysée said it was “not worried” about the fate that will be reserved for this “balanced” text, voted on and “enriched” in the Assembly and the Senate, dominated by the right-wing opposition. “In addition, we believe that there is a good dynamic, with the vaccination campaign which is ongoing” and “the strong calls of the president to be vaccinated for the young people”, estimates the presidency, with reference to the interventions of ‘Emmanuel Macron on the Tik Tok and Instagram networks. “This increase in vaccination goes hand in hand with the extension of the health pass” and therefore “we are rather confident”.
The head of the socialist deputies, Valérie Rabault, who with their Communist colleagues and rebellious France filed one of the appeals, reaffirmed on LCI her objections to the health pass, defending instead a compulsory vaccination.
“We ask employees, the waiters of restaurants, cafes, to carry out the control themselves; it is not their job. We ask volunteers who organize demonstrations in the summer to also do this. control; it’s not their job, it’s not their responsibility. ” It is necessary “that the State fulfills its missions”, that it “assumes its sovereign missions”, continues Valérie Rabault.
One of the leading figures of anti-pass sanitary demonstrations, the former number two of the FN Florian Philippot, for his part declared “that there are many constitutional principles which are trampled underfoot by this law”.
But “so far on the Covid crisis the Constitutional Council has not stood out for its ability to go against the decisions of the government, to say the least. I do not have a huge hope for Thursday, “he added.
A rebound in the epidemic
According to an Elabe poll for the Institut Montaigne, Radio Classique and the newspaper Les Echos, 48% of French people disapprove of the demonstrations against the health pass, 37% support them and 15% are indifferent.
A majority (55% to 63%, depending on whether it is a question of accessing a restaurant or a train) are also willing to present this pass if requested, and 61% (against 39%) are in favor of compulsory vaccination, according to this poll released Wednesday.
This decision comes in the midst of a new wave of the epidemic in France: the number of Covid patients has more than tripled in one week, with 8,134 patients in hospitals on Wednesday (against 2,511) and 1,371 patients in critical care (against 992 ). Almost 54% of the population has a complete vaccination schedule.