Health pass: pass control in shopping malls rejected by the Council of State

Published by Cécile D., Manon C. · Photos by Elodie D. · Published on 20 July 2021 at 10h56 · Updated on 21 July 2021 at 08h53
The government wished to instate the health pass to access stores and shopping malls. The Council of State has rejected the measures, considering it was a "disproportionate harm to involved people's freedom". Compulsory health pass could yet be kept for shopping malls covering over 20,000sqm on some conditions.

Instated or not? Will shopping mall customers have to show their health passes at the entrance of stores to go shopping? A power struggle has started between the government and the Council of State. After examining the draft bill, the Council has considered the obligation to hold a health pass to enter a shopping mall was "a disproportionate harm to involved people's freedom given the ongoing health issues".

The Council of State said the measure is no "meaningful interest for controlling the epidemic" given the other health measures instated or soon to be.

The government did not entirely take this opinion into account. The executive seems determined to continue the series of measures announced by Emmanuel Macron this past July 12. Therefore, Gabriel Attal announced, after the Council of State delivered their report, the health pass will not apply to shopping malls.

"In concrete words, the article in the draft bill plans the extension of the health pass in shopping malls covering a threshold specified through a decree", the government spokesman claimed. The threshold is the one announced by Bruno Le Maire a few days earlier: the health pass applies to shopping malls covering over 20,000sqm.

Attal goes on: "if, on a territory level, there are stores not in shopping malls but providing first-necessity, food or pharmaceutical goods, then the health pass will apply to the local shopping mall". But when one "cannot guarantee access to first-necessity goods in a big shopping malls, the health pass will be no use in the shopping mall", Attal specified.

In other words, shopping malls are open to all if it is not possible to find first-necessity stores (pharmacy, food...) close to the shopping mall.

This Sunday July 18, 2021, Bruno Le Maire specified in an interview with Journal du Dimanche the conditions the health pass is to be applied to shopping malls. Therefore, the Minister of the Economy has announced only shopping malls covering over 20,000sqm of surface are involved in the obligation to check the health pass at the doors, starting from August 2021.

"We will show understanding. We then propose sole major shopping malls, which suface is above 20,000 sqm, be involved. A consensus of the profession on this threshold is within reach". He added: "penalties must be deterrent, they shall not be excessive. Parlementarians will have to debate on the base of the government's proposition and the draft bill will be presented tomorrow during the Ministerial Council. We have always clearly specified that those breaking the rules will not be eligible to the solidarity trust".

The health pass is to be asked to customes in shopping malls from August 1, but employees enjoy extra time: Elisabeth Borne announced "the health pass will be required from August 30 to give time to shopping mall employees to get vaccinated". The minister gives an extra month to store employees to get organized.

Anyway, store managers will have to check health passes and block access to people not holding a pass.

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