Covid-19: the Assembly inflicts a snub on the government on the health pass

After a heated debate, the deputies deleted on Tuesday night a flagship article of the health bill which provided for the possibility of restoring this document for “extra-hexagonal” travel.

A chaotic session, a truncated text: the National Assembly gave the first green light to a health bill on the Covid-19 pandemic, amputated from a key article on the possible return of the health pass for “extra” trips -hexagonal”.

The text examined at first reading at the Palais Bourbon was adopted by 221 votes against 187 and 24 abstentions during the final vote on the night of Tuesday to Wednesday. He must now go to the Senate.

The Minister of Health François Braun concluded laconically “take note” discussions punctuated by multiple negotiations and suspensions of the session. He assured that he would work to restore this text in its entirety during the rest of the legislative process.

The government in trouble

Long, tedious, instructive debates on the reality of political balances and forces in this hemicycle“, summed up Raphaël Schellenberger (LR) at the end of the session.

Rémy Rebeyrotte (Renaissance, Ex-LREM), lamented a “soccer match atmosphere” in the hemicycle, while France has just passed the bar of 150,000 deaths from Covid.

The debates which began on Monday and which had resumed on Tuesday at the end of the afternoon, were enamelled with tensions, heckling and unforeseen reversals of majority according to the articles and amendments.

SEE ALSO – Covid-19: the Nice decree imposing the return of the mask in transport suspended by justice

This first text of the legislature thus reflected the difficulty of maneuvering for the government and the relative majority it has.

In the opposition, the multiple votes on the articles and amendments showed resolute hostility from the RN and most left-wing groups (LFI, communists, ecologists).

But the Socialists have often been absent from the hemicycle or have taken refuge in abstention, the LRs showing themselves sometimes divided.

The bill ratifies the expiry on August 1 of the framework “exorbitant under common lawof the state of health emergency and the crisis management regime put in place at the end of May 2021.

This is “the extinction of the legal regime of the state of health emergency” and “health and vaccination pass in the daily life of the French“, underlined Monday François Braun.

But article 2 of this bill of “monitoring and health security“Was rejected at the end of the evening by 219 votes against 195, thanks to a conjunction of votes from the RN, LR and a majority of the left alliance Nupes.

This text at the end of the debate no longer looks like much. »

Sébastien Chenu, deputy RN.

This article provided for the possibility, if necessary, of restoring the health pass for travel “extra-hexagonal», from or to abroad. A provision allowing this pass to be required for underage travelers had been rejected a little before.

Anxious to spare some of the opposition, the government and its majority had nevertheless granted some changes requested on the LR and socialist benches concerning overseas territories.

The preliminary work in committee had also seen the government agree to a January 31 deadline for the measures in the bill, instead of the March 31 planned in the original version.

The text is now essentially reduced to its article 1, which allows, due to a still fragile epidemic situation, to continue to collect health data on screening tests (SI-DEP device).

Two other remaining articles, on the modalities of a parliamentary follow-up, have been merged into one.

This text at the end of the debate no longer looks like much“, estimated the deputy RN Sébastien Chenu.

The elected RN, LR and leftists have throughout the debates multiplied the attacks against the refusal of the government to reinstate the caregivers suspended due to a refusal to be vaccinated.

LR Aurélien Pradié once again demanded this reinstatement “to restore harmony in our society“. The rebellious Elisa Martin castigated in these suspensions “an unprecedented and absurd abuse of power“.

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