What do we know about the future “health pass” desired by Emmanuel Macron?

Its ad was evacuated in two minutes in the middle of a press conference, but it could soon govern the resumption of many activities suspended by the Covid-19 epidemic. Emmanuel Macron announced, on February 25, his ” reflection “ on a “Health pass”, subject of a ministerial meeting next week. If the president has refused to want “Preempt the subject”, he still sketched the broad outlines of the“Instrument”.

Presumably digital, the device would integrate elements relating to the medical situation – possible vaccination, recent negative test – and would allow the registration of the person at the entrance of structures with controlled access – bars, restaurants, museums, theaters. … About what “Facilitate the warning system” in the event of contamination and the recovery of cases of contact. Without setting a timetable, Emmanuel Macron considers it necessary to “Prepare now technically, politically and legally” this pass.

A legal framework to be clarified

With regard to the law, the very requirement of this proof at the entry of certain sites would raise less question than its format – dematerialized – or the sensitivity of the data that it will process. “In principle, as long as it is not a question of essential activities (food shops, public services or transport), that seems to me to be legally acceptable”, poses Serge Slama, professor of public law at the University of Grenoble-Alpes.

But the lawyer is more dubious about the format of the pass, the Head of State advocating “The simplest and most digital way possible”. “It is difficult to impose an application to access services when part of the population does not have a smartphone, warns Serge Slama. An alternative system is absolutely necessary, under penalty of turning outcasts those who do not have a digital system. However, access to a good or a service cannot be denied in a discriminatory manner. It is an offense. “

Another potential source of debate is the nature of the information contained in the tool. In addition to the geolocation data, necessary for the identification of a contact case, the injection of a vaccine or the submission to a test are therefore already mentioned. “We need a QR-code system in which there is no transmission of personal health data, advocates Serge Slama. Their treatment by private providers requires the consent of the individual, which raises many questions. “

Professionals, between hope and prudence

At the end of December, the government was forced to postpone a bill giving the prime minister the right to make activities – including public transport – subject to the administration of a vaccine. Two months after the controversy, Emmanuel Macron justified the name of his project: “When I say“ sanitary pass ” [et non « pass vaccinal »]is that it cannot be subjected to the vaccine. “ And to insist: “If we manage to reopen some of these places at some point in the spring, we would not be able to condition their access to vaccination even though we would not have even opened vaccination to the youngest. It would be implausible. “

Among professionals, the announcement raises some hope. “We are necessarily attentive to anything that would be favorable to our reopening, observes Hubert Jan, president of the catering branch of the Union des métiers et des industries de l’hôtellerie (UMIH). We want to find the means to resume, in complete safety and with the support of a study worthy of the name. “

The representative refers there to the survey of the Institut Pasteur, published in December and concluding “Over-risk” contamination in bars and restaurants. A “Scandal” for the sector which hopes that another analysis will soon rehabilitate their activity. Because Hubert Jan warns: for the “sanitary pass” to be a success, “You have to communicate positively to customers”.


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