More than 200,000 French demonstrators took to the streets yesterday (Saturday) in protest against the “health permit” that the government will launch next week as part of the fight against the corona plague, in a format similar to the “green mark” used in Israel and other countries. Any Frenchman wishing to travel by high.speed train, enter a cafe or restaurant or attend a cultural event will need to present the permit, which will be given to those who have been vaccinated in two doses, to those who have recovered from coronary heart disease in the past six months or to a recent negative test.
While existing alternatives allow the French to avoid immunization and test for corona instead, many in the country see “health certification” as a tool designed to indirectly encourage immunization by tightening entry conditions for those who are not vaccinated. Such a health certificate has been operating in Germany for the past few months, and the government there is offering free tests to those who have not been vaccinated, allowing them to participate in all activities permitted to those who have been vaccinated. However, the French government also includes a duty of immunization – which does not exist in Germany – to medical and emergency teams (such as firefighters) under the new law. It is also expected to cancel the subsidy on corona tests from September.
The measures, approved by parliament, have taken to the streets a coalition of opponents of the government, from communist circles on the left to members of the “National Front” on the right, alongside many vaccine opponents and protesters protesting the “violation of freedom” as a result of using “health approval”. Among the protesters were many who wore glowing vests, part of a protest that rocked France about two years ago.
This is the third weekend that demonstrations take place, and the number of protesters is rising week by week. Last week, 150,000 protesters registered. They waved signs against vaccine coercion and a minority confronted police officers. The leader of the “National Front”, Marin Le Pen, called on French President Emanuel Macron to “reconsider” the move, and was joined by the leading politician in the left – Jean.Luc Melenchon /
Surveys conducted in France have shown that the majority of the public (more than 73%) support the new law. Demonstrations took place in 150 hotspots across France, with 14,000 people gathered in Paris. Opponents of the law have also appealed, and a decision is expected to be made on August 5, four days before it is due to take effect. The vaccination rate in France is 50%. According to data published in the European media, 85% of hospitalized corona patients (including in intensive care) are not vaccinated.