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France’s MPs reject virus health pass

In a surprise vote, France’s National Assembly has decided by a thin margin against introducing a coronavirus health pass that would regulate entry to certain places.

The vote, with 108 deputies against versus 103 in favour, was thanks to the centrist Mouvement Democrate (MoDem) party, which usually supports President Emmanuel Macron’s La Republique en Marche (LREM).

“We had given red lines,” said MoDem’s Philippe Latombe but there had not been any dialogue or interest in hearing what lawmakers had to say, which is why MoDem decided to reject the draft bill article.

Macron had regarded the health pass as a key tool in relaxing coronavirus restrictions as it would allow people to prove, for example, that they had tested negative for the virus or were fully vaccinated.

Many deputies had criticised the article, however, as being too imprecise and said that numerous questions had not been clarified.

Macron’s government can still request a second consultation.

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