PARIS (AP) — France’s government is forging ahead with efforts to increase pressure on unvaccinated people to get coronavirus jabs, as the omicron variant fuels a record surge in infections. At a parliamentary hearing on Wednesday afternoon, the health minister will defend a government plan to allow only the fully vaccinated to enjoy continued access to places such as restaurants, cinemas, theaters, museums, and sports arenas. The speeded-up introduction of the so-called “vaccine pass” forms part of a government strategy to use vaccinations, rather than new lockdowns, to try to soften the impact of the fast-spreading omicron variant on already overburdened hospitals. France reported nearly 180,000 new cases of COVID-19 infection on Tuesday, a record.
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