By Chris King •
Updated: 10 Jun 2022 • 16:04
THOUSANDS of British tourists heading for holidays in France are facing what could be a chaotic nightmare as President Macron’s tough new vaccine passport rules come into force
British tourists heading to France on holiday could well be walking into a chaotic nightmare from today, Monday, August 9, as the new vaccine passport rules established by President Macron come into force.
Under the new rules, fully-vaccinated Brits can travel to France without the need to quarantine upon return to the UK, after the country was removed from the amber list of travel destinations, but, that now seems to be the least of their worries, because upon entering France, they will need to be able to prove they are double-jabbed with virtually everything they do.
A digital QR code, which is obtained from the NHS, must be uploaded to traveller’s smartphone, using the French coronavirus application, to present at the airport, in a pavement cafe when ordering a coffee and croissant, or maybe taking a trip down the Seine, and anybody who can not produce this proof of vaccination, in the correct app, or the correct paperwork, faces being banned from establishments and attractions across France.
The Daily Mail has reported visiting several establishments across France, over several days last week, and the QR codes they had shown were allegedly not recognised by the venues they had approached, so one would hope that this problem has now been rectified, something which the authorities have since assured the Daily Mail had been done.
Of course, the question then arises, what will happen to the approximate 20 per cent of Brits who do not own a smartphone, something which the Daily Mail says the French foreign ministry could not give them a clear answer about when asked, as although a letter from the NHS will be accepted as proof of vaccination at border entry points, it has yet to be approved by the French authorities as proof for using any tourist facilities, bars, and restaurants.
Catherine Colonna, the French ambassador, told the paper, “any specific query should be addressed to the French consulate”, which they tried, and apparently, nobody answered the phone when calling them yesterday.
French trade magazine L’echommerces reportedly conducted a survey and revealed that thousands of restaurants and bars said they will not comply with the new rules, with Jean-Jacques Samoy, aged 60, who owns La Java Cafe in St Malo, saying he is prepared to even go to prison if he has to, “I have put €45,000 (£38,000) to one side in a blocked account to pay any fines and have packed my suitcase in case I go to prison. The British are always welcome, but I won’t be asking for your vaccine passports. It is not our job to play the role of health police. It is completely crazy”.
At the same time, dozens of restaurant owners in the same vicinity have signed a petition saying they will not comply with the rules, with fines starting at €135 (£115) for any customer who refuses to show proof of vaccination when asked, which rises to as much as €3,750 euros (£3,200), or even six months prison for repeat offenders, with similar fines for anybody caught using fake certificates, or one belonging to a different person.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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