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For 4th week, protesters in France decry virus cross guidelines

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PARIS (AP) — Hundreds of individuals marched in Paris and different French cities Saturday for a fourth consecutive week of protests towards the COVID-19 well being passes that everybody within the nation will want shortly to enter cafes, trains and different venues.

The demonstrations got here two days after France’s Constitutional Council upheld most provisions of a brand new legislation that expands the areas the place well being passes are wanted to enter.

Beginning Monday, the cross will probably be required in France to entry cafes, eating places, long-distance journey and, in some instances, hospitals. It was already in place for cultural and leisure venues, together with cinemas, live performance halls, sports activities arenas and theme parks with a capability for greater than 50 folks.

With French riot police on guard, a largely peaceable crowd walked throughout Paris carrying banners that learn: “Our freedoms are dying” and “Vaccine: Don’t contact our youngsters.” Some have been additionally upset that the federal government has made COVID-19 vaccines obligatory for well being care staff by Sept. 15.

Dozens of road protests came about in different French cities as nicely, together with Marseille, Good and Lille. The French Inside ministry stated there have been 237,000 protesters nationwide, together with 17,000 in Paris.

Opponents say the virus cross limits their mobility and implicitly renders vaccines compulsory.

Polls, nonetheless, present that most individuals in France help the well being passes, which show that persons are vaccinated, have had a unfavorable latest check or have recovered from COVID-19.

Muriel, 55, a Parisian who declined to provide her final identify, advised The Related Press that she particularly protests “the disguised obligatory vaccination … it’s an unbelievable blow to our elementary freedoms.”

A separate protest organized by far-right politician Florian Philippot gathered hundreds close to the Well being Ministry in central Paris. Many held French flags and known as for French President Emmanuel Macron to resign.

“Right here, you don’t have COVID, however you might have rage!” Philippot advised the group, calling for a boycott of locations requiring the cross.

In Reunion island, a French territory within the Indian Ocean that’s below a partial lockdown amid a surge in infections, hundreds turned out to protest the virus cross.

France is registering over 21,000 new confirmed virus instances every day, a steep climb from a month in the past. Greater than 112,000 folks with the virus in France have died for the reason that pandemic started.

Over 36 million folks in France — about 54% of the inhabitants — are absolutely vaccinated. A minimum of 7 million have gotten their first vaccine shot since Macron introduced the well being cross requirement on July 12.

A rising variety of European international locations have applied virus passes, every with completely different guidelines.

Italy’s “Inexperienced Go” took impact on Friday. Denmark pioneered vaccine passes with little resistance. In Austria, the cross is required to enter into eating places, theaters, inns, sports activities services and hairdressers. In Germany, anti-virus cross protests in Berlin final weekend led to some violent clashes with police.

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Comply with all AP tales on the worldwide pandemic at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic.

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AP journalists Arno Pedram and Oleg Cetinic contributed to the story.

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