It’s September (well, almost) and La Rentrée, and the new month brings a few changes to France’s Health Pass regulations and vaccination programme. Here are the French news stories you need to know about this week.
1. Extensions to France’s Health Pass
France’s Health Pass has been in full force since August 9th, but there are still a few final additions to the current rules that come into play on September 1st. As of tomorrow, the Health Pass will be required for all workers employed at Health Pass venues (i.e. bars, cafés, restaurants, cultural venues, gyms, and hospitals).
While vaccination is not being made mandatory, this essentially means that staff members will either need to get vaccinated or take Covid-19 tests every three days in order to keep their job. Being as these ‘convenience’ tests will also need to be paid for from October 1st, this really leaves vaccination as the only valid option for workers in these sectors. However, France’s Constitutional Court has ruled that employees who do not choose to follow the regulations cannot be fired on this basis – instead, they can be made to use up their holiday time or given unpaid leave.
Still not sure where you need the Health Pass or need to access the Health Pass as a foreign resident? Find out everything you need to know about the Pass Sanitaire.
2. Covid Boosters Available from Tomorrow
September 1st also sees France open up its Covid-19 vaccination booster programme. From tomorrow, those eligible for a third dose include anyone over 65 and those with severe medical conditions, but they must have received their second dose more than six months ago.
If you’re resident in France and meet the criteria, you can make an appointment now through your local doctor or via DoctoLib. All boosters will be Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.
3. Workers’ Resto Tickets Valid Through February
The Health Pass requirements might be bad news for yet-to-be-vaccinated workers, but one good bit of news for French workers is a newly announced extension of their restaurant vouchers. Many workers in France receive restaurant vouchers (or ‘tickets restos’) as part of their employee benefits, which can be redeemed at restaurants, supermarkets, and other food chains. With so many unused tickets remaining from 2020, an extension of September 1st 2021, had already been made for all 2020 vouchers.
Now, the government has extended the deadline yet again, allowing until February 2022 for workers to use up any 2020 vouchers. An extra bonus is that the maximum spend per meal (normally €19) has been raised to €38 for this period.
4. Hike in Household Gas Price
If this bit of news sounds familiar, it’s because it is! In a historic first, household gas tariffs will rise for the second time in one month – an occurrence put down to global gas price increases in the aftermath of the pandemic. This time the increases will see a bump of 2.7% for those using gas for cooking only, 5.5% for those who use gas for cooking and hot water, and a more substantial 9% for French properties using gas central heating.
Remember, if you are not happy with your gas supplier, you can change your contract at any time – see our article Gas at your French Property for more details.
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