With the Delta variant spreading rapidly and the pace of vaccines declining, France and now Italy have chosen to turn to a new tool: ordering people seeking to enter most public places, including restaurants, cinemas and sports venues, that they provide health passes.
To participate in public life, people in those countries must show that they have been vaccinated or had a negative test in the last 48 hours.
Full deployment in France has yet to start and Italy just announced its decision on Thursday, so it is difficult to know how it will work in practice or what impact it will have.
But the mere announcement of the new measure in France sparked a flood of people receiving their vaccinations.
More than 3.7 million people booked an appointment for the first injection a week after the country’s President Emmanuel Macron announced the plan in a speech on July 12. Almost 50 percent of the population is now fully vaccinated.
The move has also faced backlash, as more than 100,000 people marched in the streets last weekend to protest what they say is a government overreach.
Still, as the US faces its own surge in coronavirus cases fueled by the Delta variant, local, state and federal authorities are looking for ways to increase the absorption of the vaccine.
A national policy based on vaccine status to circumscribe behavior would be difficult for the United States to adopt. The country’s approach to the pandemic has always been highly decentralized. From mask mandates to testing requirements, there has never been a universal federal policy that has been imposed in all 50 states. Similarly, the United States does not have a nationally recognized standard test of vaccination.
The European Union, on the other hand, recently released a “Digital Green Pass”, which shows a person’s vaccination status. It is recognized by all nations of the bloc and has already facilitated travel between nations, allowing vaccine status to play a role in entry restrictions.
In Britain, where Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently reversed what had been a hard-line stance against having people prove their health to enter social and cultural venues, there is a nationally recognized app of the Service. National Health Service that can be used to quickly check vaccination status.
But there is fierce political resistance to the idea of adopting mandatory rules around a health pass when it comes to social and cultural life in the UK. Even Johnson’s mere suggestion sparked outrage from many lawmakers and is unlikely to be considered until September, when all adults will have had a chance to get vaccinated.
For months, US state and local governments have been offering a number of incentives for people to take their photos.
In May, Ohio, Colorado other Oregon they were among the states offering $ 1 million lottery prizes for people who received the jab. Prices large and small, including free beer at Erie County, NY other dinner with the governor of New Jersey – led some to get vaccinated, but the pace has slowed just as the Delta variant is spreading.
Attempts to obtain mandates from private industry have faced legal challenges.
A federal judge upheld Indiana University’s vaccination requirement, rejecting the students’ arguments that the mandate was unconstitutional.
The CDC’s attempt to impose mandates on the cruise industry is now being fought in federal court after the state of Florida defied the rules.
Even the efforts of private hospitals to demand that healthcare workers be vaccinated have been questioned.
But while a national policy similar to those being implemented in France and now in Italy may be unlikely, it remains to be seen whether states will seek their own ways to increase vaccination rates, not from the perspective of prices but with threats to make life more difficult for those who do not want to get vaccinated.