PARIS (AP) — People in France are now required to show a QR code proving they have a special coronavirus pass to enjoy restaurants, cafes, long-distance travel, and in some cases, visit hospitals.
The passes were already needed for cultural and recreational venues, including cinemas, concert halls, sports arenas, and theme parks with a capacity for more than 50 people.
The passes are issued to people who are vaccinated against COVID-19 or have proof of a recent recovery from the virus or who have a recent negative test, officials tell The Associated Press.
Those who are found in restricted areas without a pass could be fined 135 euros. Though, there will reportedly be a one-week grace period as the passes are implemented.
The new measure, which also applies to tourists visiting France, is part of a government plan to encourage more people to get the vaccine and to slow down a surge in infections.
Over 36 million people in France, or more than 54% of the population, are fully vaccinated.
Polls show that most French citizens support the health pass. However, the measure has prompted strong opposition from some people who say their freedoms will be compromised.