President Emmanuel Macron of France announced the tightening of an anti-coronavirus measure on Tuesday, as virus cases kept rising across France and the rest of Europe.
In a televised speech, Mr. Macron called the trends worrying and urged people to get vaccinated against the coronavirus as soon as possible.
People over 65 years old, he said, will now have to get a booster shot to remain eligible for a vaccine “passport” that is required to gain access to restaurants, museums, long-distance trains and other public places. The new rule takes effect Dec. 15.
In addition, Mr. Macron said, people ages 50 to 64 will be eligible for a booster shot beginning in December. He did not link the passport to the booster shot for this age group.
France already has a fairly high vaccination rate, with 69 percent of its population fully vaccinated. Even so, reports of new Covid-19 cases have been increasing in recent weeks, as have hospital admissions, which Mr. Macron called an alarm signal.
“Vaccinate yourself so that you can lead a normal life,” Mr. Macron implored those who had still not gotten a single shot. “Being free in a nation like France entails being responsible and showing solidarity. I’m therefore counting on you.”
Hospitals are reporting an average of 40 Covid-related deaths a day. That has risen 60 percent in a week, though it remains only one-tenth of the figure seen a year ago, when no vaccines were available.
France is the latest European country to experience a resurgence in the virus. Germany set a record this month for new cases reported in a day, and Britain is in the middle of a surge, three months after all restrictions were lifted.
The World Health Organization warned last week that Europe was back at the epicenter of the pandemic and that half a million people on the continent could die from Covid in the next few months.