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Is Macron Being A Pr*ck? France’s New Vaccine Law

The French Parliament has approved a new law that effectively prevents citizens who are not vaccinated against Covid-19 from going out in public. I want to look at a couple of reports on the law and then consider whether this new law crosses a line.

No Jab? No Social Life

Euro Weekly News reports the following

Under the new law, unvaccinated French residents are barred from entering all restaurants, sports areas, tourist sites, and even trains, if they can not provide proof that they are fully vaccinated against the virus. Up until now, unvaccinated people have been allowed to enter these establishments if they showed a recent negative test or proof of recent recovery.

So unless citizens can prove they are vaccinated, they are effectively confined to their homes. The law removes the previous options of being able to show a recent negative test or recovery from the virus. This serves the purpose of banning those who made the choice to not get vaccinated (think of the decision what you will) from leaving their homes.

Macron’s Motives

The following is taken from a piece in Le Parisien Magazine, which recently interviewed French President Emanuel Macron. He said

I really want to hassle them [the unvaccinated], and we will continue to do this – to the end.” He however did say that while he would not “vaccinate by force”, he hoped to encourage people to get jabbed by “limiting as much as possible their access to activities in social life”.

He said: “I won’t send [unvaccinated people] to prison. So we need to tell them, from January 15, you will no longer be able to go to the restaurant. You will no longer be able to go for a coffee, you will no longer be able to go to the theatre. You will no longer be able to go to the cinema.

Interesting, is it not? He is intentionally doing this, as he sad in another context, to ‘p*ss off’ the unvaccinated. The claim to not vaccinate by force is weasel language at its best, since he is not technically forcing them. But it does leave out rather important context, would you not agree? Moving on to his suggestion that he would not send the unvaccinated to prison, give that man the humanitarian award. Not sending people to prison for making what is supposed to be a free choice? Is he not merciful?!

There is a degree of gaslighting going on here too, since by listing a series of places these people are not allowed to go (read anywhere outside their home), he is essentially confining them to one place from which they are not allowed to leave. Just because there are no orange jumpsuits does not mean it is not prison, Monsieur President.

Depressing Disclaimer

A quick disclaimer before moving on: I am not an anti-vaxxer. Science has illustrated time and again that vaccines aid in the protection against severe disease and death. So I do not oppose vaccines. But ‘consequences’ for not ‘making the right choice’? You might say all choices come with consequences (agreed), but a ‘choice’ made with a gun to your head is hardly a free choice. Further, the category ‘unvaccinated’ is quite broad and lacks nuance. Allow me to explain.

The law treats the unvaccinated as a monolith. It does not seem to draw a distinction between those unable to be vaccinated (immunocompromised and other medical grounds) and those unwilling to be vaccinated (the nuts). You are unvaccinated? You are under house arrest. How does this not create a two-tiered hierarchy of French Citizens? So much for Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité, Monsieur President.

I called this section Depressing Disclaimer because it is depressing that I have to make such a disclaimer saying I’m not anti-vax as I decry a vaccine mandate. The N-word and the F word are no longer what you think they are: they are Nuance and Facts. Think of this as me burning the strawman before someone sets it up and knocks it down.

Is Macron Being A Pr*ck? The Vaccine Mandate

This one is complex. France currently has tens of thousands of cases per day, and its health system is under intense pressure. Many of the patients in the ICU are unvaccinated. So I understand what he is trying to do: protect as many of his citizens as possible from this highly contagious and deadly disease. But is a mandate the way to do it? A well-intentioned idea poorly executed loses its shine, and on this, I believe the President is wrong and has crossed a line into authoritarianism.

Citizens can be encouraged to get vaccinated in many ways, not all of them using the ‘stick’ approach of punishment for non-compliance. Consider the vouchers that the NSW Government made available last year for people to use once they were vaccinated. Was that an incentive? Yes, it was. And good. Sometimes citizens need a little encouragement to do the right thing. Think of this as catching more flies with honey than vinegar.

The French President is instituting punitive measures for anyone who made the choice to not get vaccinated, seemingly regardless of why. Are the conspiracy nuts who think the vaccine is a plot to turn humans into purple cheese so Bill Gates can put 6G in the water supply and turn horses gay manifestly incorrect? Yes: they are ill-informed and seek to arrogantly substitute their judgement for that of Doctors, Epimediologists and other experts. These people have no place in the discourse and should be ignored. But house arrest? France’s vaccination rate is 90%. You can encourage, you can incentivise and you can ask.

But confining people to quarters until they ‘make the right choice’ strikes me as quite authoritarian. This may not be a popular opinion, but it is my opinion.

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  1. Phil Pryor

    Vaccine refusers, deniers, avoiders, are a murderous threat to us all, as are syphilites, aidsians, poxathumpians. It is an avoidable danger. Isolate them socially, but smile in friendly resignation. Remember Verdun. Fight. Liberte, Egalite. Fraternite Vaccinite. But, let us continue to discuss the issues. Despite all said, I would not wish to be in an executive position and issue distasteful orders…

  2. Keitha Granville

    Is he not doing the right thing protecting those who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons? If people just can’t be bothered and are not specifically antivax, then this directive will give them the push they need. If they are antivaxers then they will realise how crap their lives will be and may have another thunk about their reasons for being anti.
    Either way, I’m pleased, I wish we’d do it here. Everyone who is doing the bright thing deserves some kind of prize, this is it. Going out knowing everyone else around you is doing the right thing too.

  3. calculus witherspoon.

    Of course Macron is being a prick.

    Like just about every other Western leader, he has been caught out by this tiny little micro mite that has caused such upheavel the last couple of years globally. We see the panic simply by comparing knee jerk stuff like this with the sort of helter skelter bunkum Perrottet, Morrison and their pentecostal anti vaxxer tabloid nonsenses lapped up so eagerly by the Chicken Littles at street level.

    The politicians are reactive headless chooks thru to actually a bit evil, and the local lot are a tawdry example.

    I don’t know if it is right for Australians to point the finger at offshore nongs when our own are so monstrous.

  4. Geoff Andrews

    I believe that being vaccinated with booster gives some protection from contacting the virus and the serious effects if infected, but there are plenty of daily reports of fully vaccinated people recovering in hospital and even dying.
    The only justification for the proposed law would be if the President had information that the virus was more malignant if transmitted from an unvaccinated person.
    The statistics I would like to see are:
    1. total number of tests done in a day;
    2. of that number, how many vaccinated tested positive;
    3. of those, how many vaccinated were admitted to hospital and,
    4. of those, how many that were vaccinated, died.
    If the hospitals & morgues were filled only with the unvaccinated, the President would be justified in arguing that the law was protecting the unvaccinated from themselves.

  5. Josephus

    Alternative is as Austria has done make anti vaxxers without a medical excuse pay full price for Covid health care in hospital.

  6. Kaye Lee

    I think you are exaggerating when you say they cannot leave their house. I presume they can still go outdoors or get takeaway food or go to the grocery store. It seems it is a temporary measure to help address hospital capacity.

    It also sounds very similar to the laws we had/have here.

    If you don’t meet the vaccination requirements, you can’t enter hospitality venues.
    Vaccination requirements don’t apply if you’re getting takeaway from a food and drink venue.

    Those deliberately dodging the jab will be unable to access sporting events, regional travel and mass public gatherings like theatre productions, live gigs and festivals until that date, although they will be allowed to attend places of worship once the 80 per cent target is reached.

  7. Kate Ahearne

    Tim, You say: ‘ But it does leave out rather important context, would you not agree?’

    No, I don’t agree. I do agree with Kaye, though, and with other commentators who have disagreed with you.

    Macron has NOT confined unvaccinated people to their homes, and he has not applied a ‘stick’. He’s taken a very sensible approach to the problem. He has simply done what he could to protect his broader community.

    I’m very disappointed to see this article here.

  8. Glenn K

    I live in France and i can assure you this article is at best misleading and at worst anti-vax propaganda. Testing and vaccination is readily available and free. Mask wearing is common and accepted. The vax pass restrictions are around social activities and/or government facilities. Shopping for food or essentials are not subject to pass requirements. You do not want to get vacced? No problem. But there are social restrictions. Macron has frequently stated that citizenship includes social responsibilities. When i migrated here with my French wife, i was required to attend a number of mandatory courses provided by the government in order to obtain my residency permit. One of the courses covered my “contract” with the State. I learned about the support from the French State, and my corresponding obligations back to society and the French State. Liberty, Equality, Fraternity. These words are taken seriously. France is a social democratic state and Macron’s position on this is consistent with social democracy and the French concept of Liberty, Equality, Fraternity. Oh, and Macron is not a liar. He has ethics.

  9. Michael Taylor

    Can we please swap Macron for Morrison?

    I don’t share your opinion, Tim, but nonetheless you are entitled to express it.

    Is it a bold move by Macron, or is it totally unnecessary? I think we need to wait and see which way it goes.

    Vaccinated people can just as easily spread Covid as the unvaccinated can, so in my opinion it is pointless.

  10. New England Cocky

    @calculus witherspoon: Your post is arguably the most ill-informed rubbish regarding epidemics ….. except the description of local feral & state Liarbral Nazional$ misgovernment politicians. COVID cures stupid ….. painfully ….. permanently.

  11. Glenn K

    Michael, it is not just about spreading covid. Latest stats ( 2 Jan) from the French govt regarding ICU occupancy shows unvacced make up 95.4% of critical care admissions. You are 21 time more likely to end up in ICU if you are not vacced. France ICU occupancy currently at 76%, but at 104% in the department I live in ( as at 18 Jan).

  12. calculus witherspoon.

    Thank you, New England Cocky.

    Not sure what you mean, but accept your kind compliment.

    Had you specified what you are objecting to, I could have offered a reply for clarification, but apart from the second part of your comment I cant respond since the this attack is so formless; nebulous as to specifics.

  13. Kaye Lee

    Glenn K,

    That is the important point. If you are vaccinated you are much less likely to end up in hospital. Some do of course. But the stats show ICU is heavily weighted to the unvaccinated. It’s about slowing down the burden on overstretched health resources.

  14. calculus witherspoon.

    Speaking of little pricks, lined up a booster for this Monday.

    Kaye Lee, in spite of my “ignorance” concerning Covid, I HAVE heard or read enuff tales of deep woe from people who have had even a mild dose of it to have followed it up at the surgery. and the timing was right, with the government here cutting waiting times for the booster.

    Look, with the vax, I am still waiting for the pain of the needle from previous times…felt nothing the first two… no sense no feeling.
    So, it can do no harm and might even help, STILL can’t see what the problem is for some people.

  15. Andrew J. Smith

    France is a sovereign nation couched within the EU from which Australia could learn something from (but unfortunately not in the now arrogant but incompetent Anglosphere) e.g. a regionally and globally accepted Covid vaccination app/certificate standards (the ‘Brussels Effect’); keep in mind France is very robust on its secular state which many in west do not seem to mind (vs. Islam etc.)?

    Being a little mischievous, one could infer in this article some Kochian ‘freedom & liberty’ theming which has been promoted by fringes in various European nations including France (while Macron is up against far right candidates Le Pen & Zemmour); aka ‘Freedom Protests’.

  16. Michael Taylor

    Glenn, out of interest, what vaccines were approved for administration in France?

  17. Kathryn

    Quite frankly, I think Emmanuel Macron was SPOT ON in his critical and negative assessment of the pathological liar, Scott Morrison. The smirking, arrogant Morrison has brought shame and embarrassment to Australia as a corrupt, climate-change-denying, coal-loving and callously inhumane misogynist! Most people with any insight agree with Macron’s low opinion of Morrison!

  18. Al

    Macron is a useful idiot and I wonder if he is being advised by the likes of Jacques Attali, a well-known French economist and social theorist. Anyway, each to his or her own. It’d be useful if the media and govt differentiated in news reports who the ‘unvaccinated’ cohort is in actual fact. The ‘unvaccinated’ in most countries is either someone who has received no jab or someone twice inoculated but less than 2 weeks have passed since the 2 jab (Pfizer, Moderna, J&J). If a jabbed person ends up in hospital before 2 x jabs + 2 weeks has passed they are ‘unvaccinated’. In France & Scotland ‘unvaccinated’ now includes those who got the initial 2 doses but 4 months have elapsed since the 2nd dose. Anyone awake enough to see where this is going? How many boosters do you want to get? 4 more or maybe 4 more every year for the rest of your life?

  19. Phil Pryor

    Here goes AI again, not even a useful idiot or proper commentator, because the relentless searching for bias and one-sidedness reveals a slow tantrumic childishness. Vaccines work, are proven, are safe, are essential, may need boosts, are the only known scientific, civilised, prudent option. How many anything do you want to get? Does it matter? Do you eat many times a day? How many feeds do you want to get? Enough? Can you see clearly? No? Get vaccinated, now.

  20. Al

    Hi PP, I’m old enough to remember getting a booster for tetanus every 5 years. Now jabs are so useless it is a booster every 4 months (France) and Chairman Dan wants it every 3 months in the Great Southern Province. I wonder if he is on commission.

  21. Kate Ahearne


    Tetanus is not Covid. Not even similar.

  22. Phil Pryor

    AI, you are not even a Disney dropout. Get your commission from Fat Clive or Idiot Kelly? Permanently thick, socially repulsive, a stranger to knowledge and science, lacking logic, stubborn in stupidity, empty of empathy. Gutless too…

  23. Michael Taylor

    In France & Scotland ‘unvaccinated’ now includes those who got the initial 2 doses but 4 months have elapsed since the 2nd dose.

    I can’t disagree with that. I asked a similar question when it was recently found that AZ starts to wear out after 13 weeks.

    AI, if I have to have a booster every six months for the rest of my life then I’ll happily do so. I don’t have a problem with that, especially given my poor immune system (due to Lupus).

  24. Al

    Michael, my bugbear is the safety of this mRNA product. If I believed it to be safe I would say nothing but there is no long-term safety analysis. Coercing the public into taking the jab by, for example, withholding rights to travel and work is not a form of consent. It is bullying at best but more likely the thin edge of a totalatarian step into corporate fascism, the govt being a series of corporations today. I understand you and others want to be safe and I want that also but I cannot agree with the current trajectory of forcing an experiment on the public in the absence of informed consent.

  25. Kaye Lee

    Using mRNA is safe and has great potential for other treatments. Have you read the stuff I have shown you before about how it works? What specifically is your concern? It doesn’t affect your genes in any way. It doesn’t even enter the nucleus of the cell where the DNA is.. It is a messenger that allows your immune system to recognise the protein that coats the virus and stimulates your body to make antibodies to it – the same antibodies you would make if you got COVID.

    They have been working on mRNA since 1960. It isn’t some whacky new thing. It doesn’t stay in your body. It degrades quickly.

  26. Al

    Kaye, ‘is safe’? Looking at the VAERS stats today – 21,000+ deaths, 1 million+ adverse reactions and 115,000+ hospitalizations. That might be safe in your eyes but not mine. Anyway, I don’t do drug trials for experimental products, but if you want to that is up to you.

  27. GL

    Kaye Lee, et al,

    You would have better success talking a rock into having a vaccination than trying to make AI see reason. He has no intention of letting a reality in that does not fit within his narrow conspiracy filled little universe. Any evidence provided from credible medical and scientific sources is anathema and won’t be entertained. Best to let him swim in his ocean of ignorance and just ignore him.

  28. Kaye Lee

    As has been explained to you before, and shown to you from the sources, the vast majority of adverse affects have only a temporal connection to vaccination, not a causal one. If I die in a car accident a week after having a vaccination, the jab didn’t cause my death. But you aren’t really open to learning are you because you deliberately regurgitate debunked arguments.

  29. Michael Taylor

    That’s good enough for me, Kaye. If my own immune system can’t gather enough forces to fight an illness then I’m 100% happy to get some extra help.

    Even if I had a strong immune system I’d still be in line to get the mRNA booster.

    I’m a big fan of medicines and vaccines. I’d be long dead if science hadn’t found a way of treating my illnesses.

  30. calculus witherspoon.

    Michael Taylor, ffs!

  31. Michael Taylor

    cw, I inject myself with insulin four times a day. It keeps me alive.

    Was rushed to hospital once after a reaction to penicillin. Nurse was just about to inject adrenaline into my backside, and I said I didn’t want it. “Your other option is be dead in 30 minutes,” came her reply. I took the needle.

    I don’t quite know what you mean by “FFS”.

  32. paul walter

    Quiet achiever.

  33. Glenn K

    Michael, i believe there are now five different ones approved/used in France. I received the Pfizer dose for both shots plus the booster. Further to my earlier comments, Macron’s position on this issue has widespread support across the country – even the RWNJ’s positioning for the upcoming presidential election in May keep largely silent about this. Notwithstanding they did complain about Macron’s “insulting” comments, they’re not attacking the objective of it.
    The French view access to healthcare as a basic human right, and this goes some way I think in explaining the French acceptance of medical guidance/advice. In this country, when the doctor gives you a prescription and the pharmacy dispenses it to you…..the prescribed medicine is free. 🙂

  34. Michael Taylor

    Glenn, I was in Paris once when I realised I hadn’t brought a particular diabetes tablet with me. I do, however, carry a letter from my doctor listing my medications just in case I’m asked at airport security what the pills are for. (It was my doctor’s idea).

    I waltzed into a pharmacy, explained my situation, and showed them my doctor’s letter. It was good enough for them, and my medication was dispensed.

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