France Approved Anti-Covid Law
The French parliament passed a measure requiring special virus passports for all restaurants and domestic travel and vaccinations for all health personnel. Protests and political tensions have erupted in response to these proposals.
By September 15, all healthcare professionals must get vaccinated or face being fired. It also necessitates the use of a “health pass” to gain access to all restaurants, trains, airlines, and other public places. It applies to all adults at first, but from September 30 forward, it will apply to everyone aged 12 and up.
People must show proof of being fully vaccinated, recently tested negative, or recently recovered from the illness to receive the pass. Documents on paper or in digital format will be accepted. According to the law, a government decree will specify how to handle vaccination documents from other countries.
Adding a clause to the bill that allows 16-17-year-olds to be vaccinated without their families’ permission, the Senate also requested that the application of the Covid-19 license in public spaces be postponed from August 30 to 15 September.
According to official data, the controversial bill was described as a “health dictatorship”. On July 25, more than 160,000 people attended demonstrations across France. Many marchers shouted “liberty!” and said the government shouldn’t tell them what to do.
Visiting a hospital in French Polynesia afterward, Macron urged national unity and asked, “What is your freedom worth if you say to me ‘I don’t want to be vaccinated,’ but tomorrow you infect your father, your mother or myself?”
Oil Falls On Delta Variant Concerns
Oil prices fell for the first time in 5 days amid concerns over the delta variant.
Brent crude futures for September fell 44c, or 0.6%, to $73.66 a barrel while the U.S. Texas Intermediate crude was at $71.62 a barrel, down 45c.
Although the grafting process increases oil demand, the rapidly spreading delta variant poses a risk to the oil outlook in the short term. Due to the new variant, quarantines have been reinstated in some regions.
Over the weekend, the number of coronavirus cases continued to rise, with several countries reporting daily rises. China, the world’s top petroleum importer, has experienced an increase in Covid-19 cases due to heavy floods and a typhoon in the country’s central and eastern regions.
“The Delta variant is still spreading, and China has started to clamp down on teapots, so their import growth would not be that much,” said Avtar Sandu, a senior commodities manager at Singapore’s Phillips Futures, referring to independent refiners.
He said investors are looking ahead to the next Federal Reserve meeting and U.S. oil inventories data later this week for price direction.
Yellen’s ‘Debt Limit’ Warning
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the Department would have to take “extraordinary measures” on August 2 if Congress did not raise the country’s debt limit.
Yellen wrote a letter to Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, regarding the debt limit.
“The period of time that extraordinary measures may last is subject to considerable uncertainty due to a variety of factors, including the challenges of forecasting the payments and receipts of the U.S. government months into the future, exacerbated by the heightened uncertainty in payments and receipts related to the economic impact of the pandemic,” Yellen told Pelosi in a letter.
Reminding that the legal debt limit is on hold until July 31, Yellen stated that as of August 1, the unpaid debt of the USA would reach the legal limit.
Yellen said that unless action is taken to suspend or increase the debt limit by August 2, the Treasury Department will need to take some extraordinary measures to prevent the United States from defaulting.
Stating that increasing or suspending the debt limit will not increase government spending or allow spending for future budget proposals, Yellen noted that it would only allow the Treasury to pay for previously enacted expenditures.
Pointing out that not meeting the debts in question would cause irreparable damage to the U.S. economy and the livelihoods of all Americans, Yellen reminded that even the threat of default had negative effects, including the downgrade of credit ratings in 2011.