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Bordeaux trials 20,000 Covid health pass bracelets in restaurants

The bracelets will allow repeated entry to some 200 venues with the bearer only having to prove once that they are fully vaccinated

Police doing health pass checks will not check the bracelets Pic: Andrii Oleksiienko / Shutterstock

Some 20,000 Covid health pass bracelets will be made available in establishments in tourist areas including Bordeaux, Arcachon Bay and Saint-Emilion.

The initiative is part of a trial run by hotel union Union des métiers et des industries de l'Hôtellerie (l'UMIH) and has been approved by authorities in the Gironde department.

Deputy prefect for security, Martin Guespereau, said the prefecture had worked on the trial to make sure the bracelets “followed the rules” to allow wearers entry to venues such as restaurants and bars.

President of UMIH-33, Laurent Tournier, told BFMTV: “The principle is that the client can voluntarily go to a venue, where they are probably a regular, and show the manager proof of being fully vaccinated and of their identity.

“Then they will get a bracelet– that cannot be taken off– that will allow them to re-enter the venue without being checked again.”

He said that the health pass had reduced turnover for restaurant owners, and that bracelets would “make access easier for clients”.

The bracelets will be marked with the first three letters of the name of the establishment, and will have “pass sanitaire UMIH 33” written on them. They will allow entry to around 200 establishments taking part in the trial.

Police will be able to check health passes, but not the bracelets. “We thought if it works, that is great, if it doesn’t, we can stop everything,” said Mr Guespereau.

Local restaurant owner Charlène Lagnier told BFMTV: “It’ll make things easier. It will be two times faster for us, and we will lose less time checking health passes.”

However, Laurent Lutse, president of cafes, brasseries, and nightlife venues at UIMH, said remaining legal concerns over using the bracelets had been raised with the interior ministry.

He said: “You need a QR code, rather than a number on a bracelet, otherwise there will be fraud.”

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