The French Parliament approved a law on July 26 that would mandate a special COVID-19 vaccine pass and require all health care workers to get a COVID-19 vaccine.
The new law, which was proposed just six days ago, requires all health care sector workers to begin getting vaccinated by Sept. 15 or risk suspension. It also requires a vaccine passport-like “health pass” to enter planes, trains, restaurants, and some other public venues. All adults will have to comply with the mandate beginning in August, and everyone aged 12 and older will have to abide by it starting Sept. 30.
The health pass can only be obtained by people who are fully vaccinated or have recently tested negative for COVID-19, the law stipulates. Digital or paper certificates will be accepted under the law.
Both measures prompted widespread demonstrations across France. Over the weekend, tens of thousands of people took to the streets in Paris and elsewhere, describing the mandates as needlessly draconian while calling French President Emmanuel Macron a “tyrant.”
France’s Interior Ministry reported that about 160,000 people took part in the protests on July 24—sharply up from the 114,000 demonstrators who protested during the previous week, Reuters reported.
“We need to wait a little bit before the French people can decide. … I think a part of France is always going to be unwilling, and that blackmail and threats won’t work,” Ayoub Bouglia, an engineer, told The Associated Press regarding why he was protesting the law.
While visiting a hospital, Macron seemingly responded to the demonstrations and called for national unity.
“What is your freedom worth if you say to me ‘I don’t want to be vaccinated,’ but tomorrow you infect your father, your mother, or myself?”
Similar vaccine passport-like systems have been proposed in other European countries, including Italy, which has come up with a “Green Pass” that mandates that people show a pass before entering restaurants, fairs, stadiums, and other venues. People also took to the streets en masse in Rome, Naples, and other Italian cities to demonstrate.
Dublin, London, Athens, and a number of other cities saw similar demonstrations over the recent weekend.
In the United States, some Republican-led states have passed laws prohibiting local governments from mandating vaccine passports. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis recently signed a measure that bars all businesses from implementing such systems in his state.
COVID-19 is the illness caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.