Almost 1 million people booked a COVID-19 vaccine on the day France announced a ‘health passport’ for non-essential places like restaurants

French President Emmanuel Macron
French President Emmanuel Macron talks with cooking students, Tuesday June 8, 2021 at the Hospitality school in Tain-l’Hermitage, southeastern France.

  • France saw more than 900,000 vaccine appointments booked on Monday.
  • It came after health passports were made mandatory for entering venues like restaurants.
  • France has relatively few people compared to nations like the US and UK.
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Unvaccinated French people rushed to booked appointments on Monday evening, spurred by new rules that could keep them from dining out or catching the train.

The flood of bookings followed an announcement from President Emmanuel Macron that proof of vaccination would be required to access non-essential services, like restaurants and tourist attractions.

On Monday alone, the medical appointment-booking website Doctolib saw 926,000 new bookings for a first dose of the vaccine, “an absolute record,” per a tweet.

The graph below, tweeted by French journalist Raphael Grably, shows the rise in a number of appointments booked on Doctolib on Monday.

Another 350,000 followed on Tuesday morning, the company tweeted, bringing the number to almost 1.3 million in 14 hours.

France’s vaccine campaign had been faltering, coupled with a rise in cases driven by the Delta variant, which made up 51.7 % of cases last Friday.

A graph of daily new COVID-19 cases from January 2021 in France shows cases rising.
Daily new COVID-19 cases in France, as of July 12, 2021.

According to data from the French health ministry, 40.6% of the population are fully vaccinated, a further 9.5% are between the first and second doses.

In his address on Monday, French President Emmanuel Macron announced a restrictions to control the rise of the Delta variant, which including the requirement of full vaccination for a range of activities, starting in August.

They include bars, restaurants but also trains and domestic flights.

All health workers are also be required to be vaccinated from September 15.

France is not the first country to impose proof of vaccination to access some venues. Israel imposed similar restrictions in February to incentivize vaccination. The restriction was lifted in June, but could be reintroduced in the country as cases are rising.

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