Thousands of people protested the government’s plan to expand the use of passes to cafes, restaurants and intercity travel.

Starting from Monday, French people need to show a health pass to enjoy daily activitiesLearn more about excerpts from the manualFor example, drinking coffee in a cafe or traveling between cities, despite large-scale protests against the plan.

President Emmanuel Macron supports the so-called COVID-19 pass, which has now been extended to cafes, restaurants, and air and train travel as a way to curb the fourth wave of coronavirus and encourage people to vaccinate One way of vaccine.

But the plan led to angry protests over four weekends, with nearly 250,000 people taking to the streets across the country on Saturday.

The Health Pass is generated as a QR code through a complete vaccination process, a recent negative test for the virus, or recovery from COVID-19. The government hopes that consumers and businesses will have a one-week grace period to adapt to the new regulations.

“Passports and vaccination campaigns should help us avoid new curfews and lockdowns,” Health Minister Olivier Veran told The Parisian daily.

The pass was first launched on July 21 and is used to visit cultural venues such as museums and theaters, as well as sports competitions.

Veran announced slight changes to the rules-in particular, the test can be 72 hours instead of 48 hours, and self-testing under medical supervision is allowed.

But he emphasized that the rules will not be re-implemented until at least November, and that those who are “anti-vaccine, anti-science, and anti-national” pay more attention to those who respect estrangement and keep their distance. Was vaccinated.

“I am willing to listen to the fear and do my best to appease it. But one day, it will be enough,” he said.

Opponents believe that in a country that values ​​individual freedom, the new rules violate civil liberties.

According to the French Ministry of the Interior, about 237,000 people protested across France on Saturday, including 17,000 in Paris, surpassing the 204,000 recorded last weekend-a number that is extremely unusual for the country’s protests during the peak summer vacation. .

Protesters claim that the COVID-19 pass violates their civil liberties [Stephane de Sakutin/AFP]

However, recent opinion polls show that the vast majority of French people support the expansion of passes, including cafes and restaurants. The French Constitutional Council approved the plan on Thursday.

It is needed for the indoor and outdoor areas of the restaurant, but not for the subway system and suburban traffic.

The number of hospitalizations is still well below the previous high in the pandemic, but 1,510 people received COVID-19 intensive care on Saturday, up from 1,099 a week ago.

Macron hopes that the plan will further accelerate vaccination efforts in France, where more than 55% of people now suffer a double blow. The aides pointed out that since the plan was outlined, the number of new bookings for the first jab has approached 7 million.

Corsica and the Mediterranean coast have seen the fastest increase in cases, with an influx of summer holidaymakers.

But the biggest concern is that France’s overseas territories in the Indian Ocean and the Caribbean Sea have ordered the blockade of these areas due to slow vaccination.

Macron, who will face re-election next year, has repeatedly used TikTok, a social media platform popular with young people, to convey his message in recent days.

“Get vaccinated. Get vaccinated. Get vaccinated,” Macron said in his latest video on Friday.

“This is a question of good citizens… If we infect our friends, neighbors or grandparents, our freedom is worthless. Freedom is responsibility.”

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