It is as much a reminder of the law as a clarification of the government’s intentions: the Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, wrote a letter to the presidents of the parliamentary group to inform them that the health pass would not be asked during political meetings, especially during the campaign of presidential candidates.
“Political meetings will continue to be able to take place without the health pass being required of the participants”, explains Mr. Darmanin in the short text, made public by RTL, Thursday, October 21. During the summer schools organized in recent months, political parties did not need to set up a verification of the document required in cafes and restaurants as well as in large gatherings to reduce the risk of Covid contamination. 19. The health pass is valid in the event of presentation of a complete vaccination schedule, a negative virological test or a certificate of recovery from the disease.
“The possibility for our fellow citizens to inform themselves and enlighten their political choices through these gatherings (…) is essential to democratic life ”, writes the minister to justify the exemption granted to the meetings – the “Hearing, conference, screening, meeting rooms” are normally affected by the obligation.
“Political activities” excluded from the scope of the pass
The announcement is made the day after the adoption at first reading – narrowly – in the National Assembly of the bill on “health vigilance” which provides for the extension of the health pass until July 31, 2022 – and no longer to November 15, 2021. The health pass could therefore remain compulsory throughout the presidential campaign (the two rounds of which will be held on April 10 and 24, 2022), during which large gatherings will be organized.
Mr. Darmanin mentions, in this letter, the decision of the Constitutional Council on the bill for the management of the health crisis, adopted definitively on August 5. Parliamentarians had seized the institution of the rue de Montpensier on the vagueness that surrounded, according to them, the so-called leisure activities mentioned in the government text. “The notion of leisure activity, which notably excludes political, trade union or religious activity, is neither imprecise nor ambiguous”, replied the constitutional opinion by retoking the appeal of elected officials while specifying the outline of the measure.
As of October 15, the Minister of Solidarity and Health, Olivier Véran, had implied the direction taken by the government during questions put before the Law Commission of the National Assembly. “We clearly wish not to hinder the smooth running of an electoral campaign, declared Mr. Véran during a debate on the bill of “sanitary vigilance”. There are already commitments that have been made on the non-application of the pass to go to vote and you have seen that now the gauges, health standards no longer prevent meeting in large numbers in rooms or outside. , therefore everything suggests that the campaign will take place in good conditions. “