France could ease health pass restrictions in large shopping malls – minister

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PARIS, Sept 4 (Reuters) – France could ease health pass restrictions that are hurting the activity of large shopping malls if the COVID-19 epidemic situation keeps improving, Labour Minister Elisabeth Borne said on Saturday.

“The health situation is improving. If this is confirmed, we will be able to ease the rules,” Borne told France Inter radio, adding that this could be decided “in the coming days”.

French retail group Auchan has said that the introduction in France in early August of a health pass that customers must show in shopping malls with a surface area of more than 20,000 square metres hit its business at the start of the third quarter.

France, where the daily average COVID-19 contagion rate has slowed, is battling a fourth wave of the pandemic, and the government aims to administer a third vaccine shot to some 18 million people by early 2022, a health ministry official said on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon, Elizabeth Pineau; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

File – Photo French Employers association (Medef) President Geoffroy Roux de Bezieux looks at watches being displayed in a shop window, during a visit on the eve of Les Halles shopping mall reopening in Paris, France, 18 May 2021. France will ease some of its coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions starting on 19 May, allowing shops, cultural sites, restaurants and cafes admitting customers outdoors, as pressure on hospitals and intensive care units in the country is diminishing. EPA-EFE/YOAN VALAT