Could the freedom of movement of the French be made conditional on having been vaccinated against Covid-19? This is what the elected representatives of the National Rally and Republicans see in a bill tabled this Monday, December 21 by the government. Since Monday evening, many have relayed the screenshot of this text on social networks, and denounce an attack on the “democracy” and to “libertés”, like Marine Le Pen.
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“We have discovered a bill in which there are a few lines that tell you that if you are not vaccinated then your freedoms will be restricted”, explained the spokesperson for RN Sébastien Chenu on France 2. “The government could ban people from traveling who are not vaccinated. And I think that is excessive today.”, estimated this morning on LCI, the president of Debout France Nicolas Dupont-Aignan. The LR deputy of Moselle Fabien Di Filippo denounced on Twitter a “vaccine blackmail” and the filing of a text “on the sly three days before Christmas”, “the best way to create mistrust”, according to him.
Does this paragraph exist? What text do these elected officials on the right refer to? This is a bill establishing a sustainable health emergency management regime, presented this Monday, December 21 by Jean Castex in the Council of Ministers, and registered at the Presidency of the National Assembly that same day. In paragraph 6 of section 2 of article 1, we can actually read: “The Prime Minister may (…) make the movement of people, their access to means of transport or to certain places, as well as the exercise of certain activities subject to the presentation of the results of a screening test establishing that the person is not affected or contaminated, following a preventive treatment, including the administration of a vaccine, or a curative treatment. “
A lasting state of health emergency, applicable to all health crises
For what purpose has the government tabled this text, and included this provision in paragraph 6? According to the minutes of the Council of Ministers, this bill is intended to “institute a lasting framework, better linked to the other rules, providing the public authorities with the appropriate means to respond to all exceptional health situations”. “The bill essentially takes up the health emergency regime, making only the adjustments that experience has shown to be necessary.” In addition to the possibility of regulating the movement of people, the opening of establishments open to the public or limiting gatherings, “some trips or activities may be conditional on carrying out a screening, as today for air or sea transport”.
At the end of the Cabinet meeting on Monday, government spokesman Gabriel Attal explained that “The objective of this text is to prepare us for the end of the state of health emergency, on April 1, 2021, and to establish a sustainable legal framework in the face of health crises”.
In addition, contrary to what the number two of the Republicans Guillaume Peltier suggests – “the executive would have all the power to suspend our freedoms without parliamentary control” – the government ensures that this regime “must be the subject of a formal declaration by the Prime Minister, cannot be extended without reinforced procedural guarantees and cannot be maintained beyond what is strictly necessary. Parliament will be continuously informed of the measures taken in the state of health emergency as in the state of health crisis to fully exercise its mission of controlling the action of the Government that it derives from the Constitution. “
“It is a text which aims to make its way, to mature”
Asked about this this Tuesday morning during a visit to Seine-et-Marne, the Minister of Health Olivier Véran confirmed the existence of this article. “There is an article, yes, which says that the freedoms of movement in certain situations could be correlated with the fact of being protected oneself against a disease or because one is naturally immune, or because one has been vaccinated or because we are taking treatment. ”
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But, he adds, “This bill, which has not yet been discussed in Parliament, (…) may concern this pandemic as well as any other major health event that could affect our country. It is a text which is intended to last for years or decades if ever a health disaster were to occur. ““We are going to discuss this with the national representation (…) it is a text which is intended to gain ground, to mature”, he added, reaffirming that “vaccination against Covid-19 [ne sera] not mandatory”.
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