PARIS, July 31 (Reuters) – Thousands of people demonstrated in Paris and other French cities on Saturday against a mandatory coronavirus health pass to access a wide range of public places, introduced by the government as ‘he is battling a fourth wave of infections.
Protesters injured three police officers in Paris, a police spokesperson said.
It was the third weekend in a row that people opposed to President Emmanuel Macron’s new COVID-19 measures took to the streets, a display of determination unusual at a time of year when many people are focused on their vacations summer.
“We are creating a segregated society and I think it’s amazing to do this in the land of human rights,” said Anne, a teacher who was protesting in Paris. She refused to give her last name.
“So I took to the streets, I never protested in my life. I think our freedom is in danger. “
Visitors to museums, cinemas or swimming pools are already refused entry if they cannot produce the health passport attesting that they have been vaccinated against COVID-19 or have had a recent negative test.
Parliament this week approved a new law that will make vaccinations mandatory for health workers and extend the health pass requirement to bars, restaurants, trade shows, trains and hospitals.
Police estimated that around 13,500 people demonstrated in the streets of Paris, another police spokesperson said.
Around 3,000 police officers were deployed in the capital, with riot control agents trying to keep protesters on authorized routes.
Authorities sought to avoid a repeat of events last week, when clashes between police and protesters broke out on the Champs-Elysées. Read more
Protesters were also out in other cities such as Marseille, Lyon, Montpellier, Nantes and Toulouse, shouting “Freedom! “And” No to the health pass! “.
Reporting by Léa Guedj and Yiming Woo Writing by Mathieu Rosemain Editing by Frances Kerry
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