French protests over a new law requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination to enter restaurants, bars and other establishments have continued into their third week and show little sign of letting up. On the contrary, the movement seems to be growing. According to the French government, over 200,000 people took to the streets this past Saturday, roughly 40,000 more than the previous week.
To control Saturday’s protests, the government deployed around 3,000 security forces in Paris. Three police officers were injured and 10 protestors arrested in the French capital.
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The law has provoked considerable resistance due to its draconian restrictions. Not only does it stipulate proof of vaccination to enter public venues or board planes and trains, but it also requires all health care workers to start vaccination by September 15. Venues hosting more than 50 people like museums and movie theaters must already require proof of vaccination while smaller establishments like restaurants must start using the pass by August 9. The law leaves no discretion to business owners.
France is not the only European country to institute the vaccine passport concept. Austria, Cyprus, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Ireland and Slovenia have all passed similar laws, as well as certain regions of Spain. Many of these nations have also begun to experience protests in response.