France Sets Date To Lift Vaccine Pass Requirement In Cinemas & Elsewhere

Beginning March 14, a pass demonstrating full vaccination against Covid will no longer be required to access cinemas in France. Nor will it be obligatory for entry to theaters, bars, restaurants, amusement parks, gyms or other leisure venues. Prime Minister Jean Castex announced the upcoming changes Thursday afternoon local time.

“The situation is getting better thanks to our collective efforts,” Castex said on TF1’s mid-day news program, “We are therefore going to proceed with a new phase of easing measures.”

Since it came into effect in late January, the vaccination pass has been contested by some in France. It replaced the health pass which certified either full vaccination or a recent negative Covid test. When the pass requirements were initially introduced, there had been talk they would remain in effect until the summer. However, cases have been dropping in the country with a seven-day average of just over 53,000 new infections recorded Wednesday night, versus more than 70,000 the previous week.

Last month saw nearly 13M admissions at French movie theaters, 41% down from 2019, but much better than 2021 when cinemas were closed. The year so far is off 41.3% versus 2019 with 23.65M tickets sold across January and February, according to the CNC. Still, recent films like Spider-Man: No Way Home, Uncharted and Death On The Nile count France among their Top 5 markets.

Castex also announced that from March 14, masks will no longer be required anywhere save for public transport and in medical establishments.

France tightened some anti-Covid measures at the beginning of the year and last month gradually been easing them. As of February 28, the mask requirement had already been lifted in cinemas and other venues where the vaccination pass was obligatory. The sale of concessions in cinemas was also reinstated as of mid-February.

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