French virus well being passport in full motion, however protests proceed

PARIS (AP) – Thousands marched in cities across France on Saturday to protest the COVID-19 health passport now required for access to restaurants and cafes, cultural venues, sports arenas and long-distance travel.

For the sixth Saturday in a row, opponents denounced what they see as a restriction of their freedom. Many criticized the measure, claiming that the French government was making vaccines mandatory by implication.

Four demonstrations were organized by different groups in Paris and over 200 protests took place in other French cities. More than 200,000 protesters attended last week.

The passport shows people are fully vaccinated, recently had a negative test, or evidence of recent COVID-19 recovery. The law that authorizes it also makes vaccinations mandatory for French health workers until September 15th.

Despite the protests, polls have shown that the majority of French support the health passport. Millions have received their first vaccination since French President Emmanuel Macron announced the measure on July 12.

Since last month, France has been registering a high number of infections – around 22,000 daily, a number that has remained stable over the past week.

Over 47 million people in France or 70.2% of the population have had at least one vaccination and more than 40.5 million or 60.5% are fully vaccinated.

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