One client, Myriam Karmasine, said she was prepared and it “posed no problem,” and another, Sonia Hamiche, said she was not bothered, either.
“But I’ve observed that there are less people outside today compared to normal on the streets and on the terraces,” Hamiche said. “I think this must have stopped certain people.”
People without a pass where it is required risk a fine of €135 euros ($216). The French government said for the first week of implementation, police controls will not lead to sanctions for non-compliance but instead will be an occasion to explain the law.
In hospitals, visitors and patients who have appointments are required to have the pass. Exceptions are made for people at the emergency ward.
The pass is now required on high-speed, intercity and night trains, which carry over 400,000 passengers per day in France, Transport Minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari said Monday. It is also required on long-distance travels by plane or bus.
“We’re going to enforce massive controls,” Djebbari said.
Meanwhile, the Paris Saint-Germain soccer club will be allowed a capacity crowd for its first home game of the season against Strasbourg in the French league on Saturday. PSG said the Paris prefecture has approved 49,700 fans at Parc des Princes stadium, with spectators expected to show their virus passes.
Polls show that most French support the health pass. Since President Emmanuel Macron announced the measure on July 12, at least 7 million people have received their first vaccine shot.
Yet the measure has prompted strong opposition from some people who say it compromises their freedoms by limiting movements outside the home. On Saturday, thousands of demonstrators marched in Paris and other French cities for a fourth consecutive week of protests against the measure.
The virus pass has already been in place for last month for cultural and recreational venues including cinemas, concert halls, sports arenas and theme parks.
The law also requires French health care workers to be vaccinated against the virus by September 15.
France was added to a list of countries the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention warned against travelling to on Monday because of a rising number of COVID-19 cases in those nations.
The CDC has been adding to its highest “Level 4: Very High” COVID-19 level as cases spread around the globe.
In addition to France, the US added Israel, Thailand, Iceland, the West Bank and Gaza, along with other places, including Aruba and French Polynesia.
The US State Department also issued its parallel Level 4: Do Not Travel” advisories for Iceland and France on Monday.
In July, the CDC had raised concerns about Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, lifting its travel health notice by two levels to “Level 3: High.”
The CDC also hiked alert levels to “Level 3: High” for Austria, Croatia, El Salvador, Azerbaijan, Guam, Kenya and Jamaica. The CDC says unvaccinated travellers should avoid nonessential travel to those countries.