France Says 110,000 Fake Health Passes Are in Circulation

A man shows his COVID-19 health pass at a restaurant as France brings on tougher restrictions where a proof of immunity will now be required to access most public spaces and to travel by inter-city train, in Nice, France, August 9, 2021. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

Some 110,000 fake health passes are in circulation in France, the interior ministry said Thursday, with hundreds of investigations launched against makers and users of the forged documents.

The health pass, showing proof of vaccination, Covid recovery or a recent negative test result, is required for access to public transport, restaurants and cultural events.

As they investigate users and distributors of the fake documents, police have found that medical staff is sometimes complicit in the fraud, said Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin.

“The problem with the fake health passes is that they often involve the collusion of real doctors or real nurses,” he told the France 2 broadcaster. This makes offences “very difficult to prove”.

Some 100 people had been arrested as a result of 400 investigations since the health pass became mandatory in parts of public life, Darmanin said.

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