French “Heath pass” protests a worry for Macron 

August 22, 2021 - 19:22

Thousands have taken to the streets across France for the sixth consecutive weekend against a COVID-19 health pass required for daily activities. 

According to the French Interior Ministry, around 175,500 people participated but organizers say the number is higher. 

The protests are posing an increasing risk for President Emmanuel Macron’s popularity ahead of next year’s election. 

Macron has strongly defended the health pass despite widespread public criticism. 

The pass is official documentation, with a QR scan code, that proves a person has had the COVID-19 vaccine. Many places including cafes, restaurants, museums, and sports venues will not be allowed to enter people unless they can show the health pass.

While many people in France have been vaccinated against COVID-19, demonstrators argue the health pass discriminates against those who have not and infringes upon people's liberties.

One protester argued that "this health pass divides French people. I think that is clear. And unfortunately, I believe we should abolish it"

The protests have united a disparate group of parties. The biggest demonstration in Paris was led by far-right politician Florian Philippot, head of 'Les Patriotes' party, while there was also a demonstration by left-wing protesters linked to the 'Yellow Vests' movement.

The government claims the pass is designed to encourage more people to get vaccinated.

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