PARIS — Visitors now need a special COVID pass to ride up the Eiffel Tower or visit French museums or movie theaters, the first step in a new campaign against what the government calls a “stratospheric” rise in delta variant infections.
As the new rule came into effect Wednesday, unprepared tourists lined up for quick virus tests at the Paris landmark. To get the COVID pass, people must show they are fully vaccinated, have a negative virus test or prove that they recently recovered from an infection.
“The world is facing a new wave, and we must act,” French Prime Minister Jean Castex said.
The solution, he said Wednesday on TF1 television, is “vaccination, vaccination, vaccination,” urging his compatriots to sign up for injections to avoid new lockdowns. Of France’s 18,000 positive cases recorded Tuesday, he said 96% involved people who were not vaccinated.
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At the Eiffel Tower, masked workers scanned QR codes on digital health passes or checked printed vaccine or test certificates. The measures went into effect Wednesday at cultural and tourist sites, following a government decree.
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Attitudes toward the new requirements were mixed.
“I wanted to come here with my mom so I had to take to the test to be able to…