Thousands protested in France against President Emmanuel Macron’s plans to vaccinate health workers and make it mandatory to enter bars, restaurants and cinemas, Reuters and AFP reported.
On Monday, Macron announced large-scale measures to combat the rapid growth of the coronavirus pandemic.
The measures include compulsory vaccination against COVID-19 for all healthcare workers and for all other workers who come into contact with vulnerable people.
“These people will have the opportunity to be vaccinated by September 15 and then sanctions will be applied,” Macron told his compatriots. The president also announced that the use of the health pass for access to restaurants, bars, planes and trains would be introduced from early August. As of July 21, the health pass will be required for access to events with more than 50 people at them.
The measures sparked mass protests in France, with police using tear gas in some places to disperse protesters.
At today’s demonstrations, participants chanted “No to the health dictatorship” and “Macron’s resignation”. According to them, these measures infringe on the right of choice of those who do not wish to be vaccinated.
In addition to Paris, protests took place in other major cities such as Marseille, Lyon and Lille, as well as in smaller centers. Protesters included “yellow vests” trying to revive the anti-government movement, which was halted by coronavirus lockouts.
However, a published study by Ipsos and Sopra Steria shows that 60 percent of French people support the mandatory vaccination of health workers and the requirement to present a health pass to enter some public places, Reuters notes.