French protest health passports
Residents in France are taking to the streets to protest the country’s new COVID-19 health pass, which requires that people show proof of vaccination, a recent negative test or that they are recovering from the virus before entering public facilities.
French President Emmanuel Macron announced the new health pass earlier this week, which will be required to enter restaurants, shopping malls or hospitals, and board trains or planes.
Macron also mandated that all health care workers in France must be fully vaccinated by Sept. 15 or they will be suspended without pay.
The precautions were announced as the more transmissible delta variant continues to spread around the world.
The new restrictions, according to Reuters, are more extreme than other European nations’, which has sparked ire among French residents.
Some say Macron is encroaching on freedoms and discriminating against individuals who do not wish to get inoculated, according to Reuters.
Groups of protesters, who demonstrated on Bastille Day, reportedly flipped garbage cans and set a mechanical digger on fire, which led to police deploying tear gas.
Some protesters located away from the violent scene were wearing badges that said “No to the health pass,” the wire service reported.
The debate over vaccine passports has been highly contentious in the U.S. and around the world, with some parties pushing for the program and others starkly opposed.
New York became the first state in the U.S. to implement a vaccine passport system, dubbed the “Excelsior Pass.”
More than 27.9 million people are fully vaccinated in France, which is equivalent to 41.6 percent of the country’s population, according to Sortir a Paris. By comparison, 48.1 percent of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).