France’s Assemblée nationale has given final approval to the government’s vaccine pass bill, which will introduce a proof of vaccination requirement for entry into a range of public spaces and leisure areas, and will also apply to foreign sportspeople competing in France.
France’s Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu has announced that, like French athletes, international sportspeople will have to show a vaccine pass in order to be admitted to their event.
Following Novak Djokovic’s Australian visa row, people began wondering whether France would also block unvaccinated sportspeople from competing in the country.
France’s new law will prevent him from competing at the French Open in May unless something changes before then.
Le pass vaccinal a été adopté. Dès que la loi sera promulguée, il deviendra obligatoire pour entrer dans les ERP déjà soumis au pass sanitaire (stade, théâtre ou salon) pour l'ensemble des spectateurs, des pratiquants, des professionnels français ou étrangers 1/2— Roxana Maracineanu (@RoxaMaracineanu) January 16, 2022
Ms Maracineanu Tweeted that: “Once the [vaccine pass] bill becomes law, it will become obligatory for entry into public spaces already subject to health pass requirements (stadiums, theatres or fairs) for all spectators, practitioners, French and foreign professionals.
“We are working together to preserve competitions and to make ourselves the ambassadors of these measures on an international level.”
Merci au mouvement sportif pour le travail de conviction auprès des derniers rares non vaccinés. Nous travaillerons ensemble à préserver les compétitions et à se faire les ambassadeurs de ces mesures au niveau international 2/2— Roxana Maracineanu (@RoxaMaracineanu) January 16, 2022
Questions surrounding the admittance of unvaccinated sportspeople had been debated by the government’s Cellule interministérielle de crise crisis management committee, which had to decide whether to create bubbles for unvaccinated sportspeople in France, or to make vaccination obligatory for everyone.
Ms Maracineanu had initially supported the bubble idea, but finally ministers decided on the blanket obligation, which will make it easier to organise sporting events and ensure that everyone in the country is subject to the same requirements.
Stanislas Guerini, chief executive of La République en Marche !, said in an interview on RTL yesterday (January 17) that Mr Djokovic's behaviour had been "irresponsible."
"All the big events which will take place in France will also adopt the Covid pass. Who would understand if we asked our citizens to make an effort and respect the rules if we authorise some to get out of them?" he said.