Vaccination pass: amateur, professional, French or foreign athletes… How the new law will change the situation

This is a new step in the fight against the global epidemic of Covid-19. Lhe Parliament definitively adopted, on Sunday January 16, the bill establishing the vaccine pass, while France is facing a fifth wave.

“When the law is enacted, the vaccination pass will come into force instead of the health pass”, explained the Ministry of Sports to franceinfo sport. Thus, all athletes, professional or not, over the age of 16, must present a valid vaccination pass or, in certain cases, a certificate of recovery following contamination with Covid-19, in order to be able to train in establishments open to the public (sports halls, stadiums, gymnasiums, etc.) and participate in competitions. Minors aged 12 to 15 will remain subject to the obligation to present the current health pass. The precise date of the entry into force of the vaccine pass has not yet been announced.

The measure applies to all sports, whether they are practiced indoors or outdoors. “A person who wants to play football in the public space does not need a vaccination pass, says the ministry. On the other hand, if she wants to play in a stadium, she will need the vaccination pass.. As with the health pass, clubs will have to check the validity of the vaccination pass.

What about foreign athletes? The watchword is the same. Any athlete coming from abroad must be vaccinated to compete in France. “There will be no exemption. Unvaccinated foreign athletes will not be able to participate in competitions in France, until further notice”, thus affirms to franceinfo sport the Ministry of Sports.

An attempt to circumvent these new rules had however been mentioned by the French Tennis Federation on Sunday. She announced that she is working on reception “unvaccinated foreign athletes” for the next Roland-Garros tournament in May. The ministry closes the door for the time being while emphasizing that, “by May, the health situation may change. We all hope that it will be relaxed. The truth of today’s health protocol is not that of May. But as it stands, this rule will apply to everyone.”

If the vast majority of professional athletes are vaccinated today, the last recalcitrants find themselves up against the wall. It will be impossible for them to train in structures open to the public and to take part in competitions. Even before the bill was passed, tennis player Pierre-Hugues Herbert, who posted his refusal to be vaccinated against Covid-19, admitted that “the next step” could be “to potentially stop playing tennis”. “I hope it never comes to that,” he added.

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