160,000 protests across France against the COVID pass system – .

160,000 protests across France against the COVID pass system – .

PARIS – A total of 160,000 people demonstrated today across France, according to the Interior Ministry, angry at the country’s COVID health card system, which they say unfairly restricts the unvaccinated.

By early evening, authorities recorded 222 separate protest actions, including 14,500 people who gathered in Paris.

Sixteen people were arrested and three police officers slightly injured, during what was the seventh consecutive weekend of protests against COVID.

“The vaccine is not the solution,” said retiree Hélène Vierondeels, who attended a right-wing protest in Paris.

“We should instead stop the closures of hospital beds and continue with the barrier measures,” she adds.

In Bordeaux, several demonstrators say they refuse to have their children vaccinated, a few days before the start of the school year.

“We’re not lab rats,” said an 11-year-old boy who walked with his father.

“We live in a free country, there are no numbers to justify mass vaccinations,” her father says, comparing the increased pressure to vaccinate to rape.

As part of the COVID pass system, phased in since mid-July, anyone wishing to enter a restaurant, theater, cinema, long-distance train or large shopping center must present proof of vaccination or a negative test. .

The government insists the pass is needed to encourage vaccination and avoid a fourth national lockdown, with the unvaccinated accounting for most COVID-19 patients admitted to hospital.

Today’s overall figure was slightly lower than the 175,000 protesters who showed up the previous weekend.

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