Thousands Protest in Paris Against Virus Measures

By The Associated Press
The Associated Press
The Associated Press
December 18, 2021 Updated: December 18, 2021

Thousands marched in the streets of Paris and other cities throughout France on Saturday to protest against new government restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The demonstration saw a higher-than-usual number of participants on this first school holiday weekend with many chanting against the vaccine pass that the government was planning.

Prime Minister Jean Castex said Friday that, with the Omicron variant spreading like “lightning,” the government proposed requiring proof of vaccination for those entering restaurants, cafes, and other public establishments.

Under the bill to be put forward in January, one would be required to show proof of vaccination, not just a negative COVID-19 test.

The measure is pending approval by Parliament.

French Health Minister Olivier Veran announced that the government would start giving the vaccine to children in the 5 to 11 age group beginning Wednesday.

Veran also said that health care workers and firemen would have to get a third dose by Jan. 30.

Previously, while vaccination has been mandatory since Sept. 15 for health care workers and firemen, there was no set deadline for getting the third vaccination.

Nearly 3,000 people are in intensive care with COVID-19 in France—still with only a minority suffering from the new variant.