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FACT CHECK: FRANCE HAS NOT BANNED UNVACCINATED PEOPLE FROM PURCHASING FOOD AT SUPERMARKETS

Following French President Emmanuel Macron’s announcement of new restrictions, a short video clip of his speech went viral, claiming that starting August 1, only those who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 will be allowed to buy food from supermarkets.

n July 12, French President Emmanuel Macron announced fresh restrictions in the wake of a renewed surge in Covid-19 cases due to the Delta strain. This variant is said to be behind 50 per cent of the new cases in France.

Soon after Macron’s announcement, some netizens started claiming that come August 1, only those who have been vaccinated for Covid-19 would be allowed to purchase food from supermarkets. A short video clip of Macron’s speech is also being shared as evidence.

“French President announces that from August 1, 2021 people won‘t be allowed to PURCHSE FOOD at supermarkets unless they are vaccinated!” reads the claim.

India Today Anti Fake News War Room (AFWA) has found that France has not banned unvaccinated people from purchasing food. Proof of vaccination or a Covid-negative report has been made mandatory only for entry in big shopping malls and not for neighbourhood grocery stores.

AFWA probe

In his address to the nation on July 12, Macron said that from August, people would be required to produce health passes to visit cafes, restaurants, shopping centres, hospitals, retirement homes and social institutions, as well as for long-distance trips on flights, trains or buses.

The health pass will be used to check a person’s vaccination status, the result of a Covid test or a certificate of recovery.

Translating the transcript of Macron’s July 12 speech, we found that nowhere is it mentioned that people who haven’t been vaccinated will not be allowed to purchase food from supermarkets or neighbourhood grocery shops from August

French health minister clears confusion

Though Macron had said that people will need health passes to enter shopping centres from August, a statement by the French health minister Olivier Veran suggests that rules would be different for supermarkets.

A recent report by Connexions carries a statement by Veran, “We are talking about (asking for health passes in) big shopping centres not supermarkets.”

The same statement has been published in reports by Politico and US News as well.

As per these reports, while health passes will indeed be needed to visit shopping centres, the government has excluded supermarkets so that the public can avail essential commodities such as food even if they’re not vaccinated.

Almost a million people in France sought to book appointments for Covid-19 vaccinations a day after Macron’s July 12 announcements. It is important to mention that these guidelines on restrictions are yet to be hammered out in detail.

Thus, it is clear that though the recent anti-Covid measures announced by Macron were intended to push people towards vaccination, they haven’t restricted unvaccinated people from visiting supermarkets as of now.

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