French police fire tear gas as thousands protest virus rules

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Paris, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News – July 15, 2021): Paris police fired tear gas to disperse protesters on Wednesday, as 19,000 people demonstrated across France against new coronavirus restrictions.

Some of the protests began in the morning in Paris as the annual military parade of the traditional July 14 parade, under the eyes of President Emmanuel Macron, took place along the famous Champs-Elysées.

Protesters are unhappy with the decision announced Monday to force health workers to get vaccinated and bring a health vaccination pass to most public places.

Unvaccinated people would need, for example, a negative test result to enter restaurants.

Since the announcement, a record number of French people have made an appointment for Covid-19 jabs.

“It is in the name of freedom” was the message of some of the protesters.

In a district of the French capital, the police fired tear gas to disperse the crowd.

Police said the declared protest route was not followed and deplored the “projectile launches” and The declared route was not followed, the police headquarters said in a tweet, deploring the “projectile launches” and the lighting of fires by the demonstrators.

Across Paris, some 2,250 people demonstrated, while other demonstrations took place in Toulouse, Bordeaux, Montpellier, Nantes and elsewhere. The French authorities estimate the total number of demonstrators at 19,000.

The Interior Ministry said there had been a total of 53 different protests across France.

“Down with the dictatorship”, “down with the health pass” chanted the demonstrators.

One of them, Yann Fontaine, a 29-year-old lawyer from Berry in central France, said he had come to demonstrate in Paris, arguing that the imposition of a health pass was equivalent to ” segregation”.

“Macron is playing on fears, it’s revolting. I know people who will now be vaccinated just to be able to take their children to the movies, not to protect others from serious forms of Covid,” he said.

The French government on Tuesday defended its decision to impose Covid tests on unvaccinated people who wish to eat in restaurants or take long-distance trips, as the country seeks to avoid an upsurge in more contagious Delta cases.

“There is no vaccine obligation, it is a maximum incentive”, then declared the spokesman of the government Gabriel Attal.

“I find it hard to understand, in a country where 11 vaccines are already compulsory … that this could be perceived as a dictatorship,” he said, adding that after a year of studying vaccines ” the time for doubt is long past. “.

Rules will be relaxed for teens who have only been able to get the shots since mid-June – “Making summer hell is out of the question,” Attal said.

According to an Elabe poll released on Tuesday, the new security measures have a large majority of approval among the French.

About 35.5 million people – just over half of the French population – have so far received at least one dose of the vaccine.

At the start of the pandemic, France had one of the highest levels of vaccine skepticism in the developed world.


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