France weighing mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations ahead of Macron speech
Ross Cullen in Paris

France is considering making COVID-19 vaccinations compulsory as it struggles with lagging take-up of injections and a growing wave of new cases of the Delta variant. 

The proposal is being discussed ahead of another address to the nation by the French president on Monday.

Emmanuel Macron will make a speech setting out the government's plans for the coming months regarding its response to the pandemic.

The July 12 speech, which will be made from Macron's presidential residence and office, the Elysee Palace in Paris, will be broadcast live at 8 p.m. local time. (6 p.m. GMT)



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It is believed the French leader will make another urgent plea to the public to get vaccinated as the summer vacations get under way in earnest, and millions of holidaymakers meet and mix across the country.

On Sunday, the leader of MoDem, the party which regularly supports Macron's MPs in parliament, said "there is no other way out than compulsory vaccination for everyone."

Francois Bayrou proposed that healthcare workers who refuse to get vaccinated should be "suspended from their work."

The National Academy of Medicine is also calling for mandatory coronavirus shots.

A fresh wave of coronavirus infections is now being seen in France with the rise of the Delta variant.

The number of new infections on July 10 was the highest daily total since June 9.


Health pass controls could be tightened

At the moment, a national health pass, which is run through the French government's track-and-trace phone app, is in operation for some travel and sporting events and will be in place for planned summer music festivals.

But the pass sanitaire does not require people to be vaccinated. 

Users who have had a recent negative PCR test or a recent bout of COVID-19 are also permitted entry under the current conditions.

Another suggestion to control the spread of the Delta mutation of the coronavirus is through use of a vaccination-only pass.

This could be imposed on people hoping to travel around the country, or travel overseas, or attend major sporting and cultural events.

They would only be allowed to do so if they were fully vaccinated - testing negative or having had COVID-19 recently would not be considered valid reasons to travel.

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