French President Emmanuel Macron says booster shots for the COVID-19 vaccine will be extended to those aged 50 and over from early December and that the booster would become a requirement for health passes to remain valid.
The third shot is so far available in France only for those aged 65 and more and the vulnerable.
From December 15, they will need to give proof of a COVID-19 booster shot in order to maintain their health passes, the president said.
The health pass, required to enter restaurants and bars, to go to the gym or a conference and for long-distance train and plane journeys provides proof that a person has been vaccinated against COVID-19, has recently had a negative coronavirus test or has newly recovered from the virus.
Macron also urged those not yet vaccinated to do so.
“To those not yet vaccinated – get vaccinated. Get vaccinated to protect yourselves. Get vaccinated to live normally,” the president said in a televised address.
Macron said Europe was seeing a fifth wave of infections and that in France there had been an alarming rise in the number of COVID-19 hospital patients and in the rate of spread.
France registered 12,476 new confirmed COVID-19 infections on Tuesday, the highest level since September 8, health ministry data showed.