May 24, 2022

Health crisis management – Extended health pass and compulsory vaccination of caregivers: what the law says

Credits: © Romain TALON – stock.adobe.com

Extended health pass, compulsory vaccination for staff in health establishments before September 15, suspension of the employment contract … Due to the worrying circulation of the Delta variant throughout the territory, new health measures have been put in place to slow down a strong resumption of the Covid-19 epidemic. Service-Public.fr details these provisions provided for in the law relating to the management of the health crisis promulgated on August 6, 2021 in Official newspaper following the announcements of the President of the Republic of July 12, 2021.

The regime for exiting the state of health emergency, set up by the law of May 31, 2021 until September 30, 2021, is extended until November 15, 2021. During this period, the government may take certain measures to limit travel or access to certain establishments.

The health pass is extended

Initially implemented until September 30, 2021, the health pass can now be imposed until November 15, 2021.

Already compulsory for travelers coming from or going to France and since July 21, 2021 in all places planned for cultural, sports and leisure activities as well as fairs and exhibitions receiving more than 50 people, the health pass also becomes due from August 9, 2021 in :

  • bars and restaurants (with the exception of company restaurants and take-away sales), both indoors and on the terrace;
  • department stores and shopping centers, by decision of the prefect of the department, beyond a certain threshold defined by decree and if the severity of the risk of contamination at the level of a department justifies it under conditions guaranteeing access essential trades, as well as transportation. The list of centers and department stores concerned must therefore be defined by the prefects.
  • seminars;
  • public transport (trains, buses, planes) for long distance journeys;
  • hospitals, accommodation establishments for dependent elderly people (Ehpad) and retirement homes for accompanying persons, visitors and patients received for scheduled care. The pass cannot be requested in the event of a medical emergency.

The health pass is required:

  • for the public (people over 18) in all these places and establishments from August 9, 2021. The pass will only be compulsory for adolescents aged 12 to 17from September 30, 2021 ;
  • for the staff who work there from August 30, 2021. Failure to present this pass within 3 working days may result in their employment contract being suspended, without pay for both fixed-term and permanent contracts. The suspension ends when the suspended employee produces the required supporting documents or is offered another position without contact with the public and for which the health pass is not necessary. Dismissal in the event of a lack of Covid vaccination is not possible.

Traders and professionals who do not control the pass are liable to a formal notice and possible temporary closure of the establishment, then in the event of a repeat offense to a one-year prison sentence and a fine of 9 000 € fine.

Compulsory vaccination of caregivers

Vaccination against Covid-19 is compulsory, unless there is a medical contraindication, for people working in the health and medico-social sectors. The following are particularly concerned:

  • medical and paramedical professionals who work in private practice or in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and retirement homes, as well as professionals, students or pupils who work in these establishments;
  • professionals in contact with vulnerable people, such as firefighters, ambulance attendants, home employees of certain beneficiaries of the personalized autonomy allowance (APA) or the disability compensation benefit (PCH).

Unvaccinated staff have until September 15, 2021 to do so, or until October 15, 2021 if they have already received a first dose of vaccine.

If they have not been vaccinated on time, employees and public officials may be suspended without pay. A dismissal in the event of a lack of Covid vaccination is however not possible.

Vaccination of adolescents

For tests or vaccination against Covid-19 of minors 12 years of age and over, the consent of only one parent is necessary. Adolescents over 16 can decide to be vaccinated on their own, without parental consent.

Leave of absence for vaccination

Employees and public officials benefit from an absence authorization to go to medical appointments related to vaccinations against Covid-19 (including to accompany a minor child).