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France tightens Covid rules with health pass

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French cinemas, museums and sports venues have begun asking visitors to furnish proof of Covid-19 vaccination or a negative test as the country, which is in the throes of a fourth wave of infections, rolled out a controversial vaccine passport system.

The so-called "health pass" is required for all events or places with more than 50 people, before being extended to restaurants, cafes and shopping centres in August.

Prime Minister Jean Castex defended the strategy, noting that 96% of the 18,000 new daily cases reported today - an unprecedented surge of 140% in just a week - were people who had not been immunised against the virus. "We're in the fourth wave," he told French media, stressing that the goal of the health pass was to avoid a

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