Amid the rise in Covid-19 cases in France, thousands of people without protective masks took to the streets of Paris and major French cities on Saturday (17) to protest against the tougher rules determined by Emmanuel Macron.
The French president announced earlier this week that it will be necessary to present proof of vaccination or a test with a negative result in order to attend cultural and leisure spaces, such as concerts, concert halls, parks. ‘attractions, bars, cafes and restaurants.
Critics say the measure undermines the freedom of choice of those who do not want to be vaccinated. “Everyone is sovereign in their own body. In no case does a President of the Republic have the right to decide on my individual health,” a protester who identified herself only as Chrystelle told Reuters news agency.
Similar protests also took place in the cities of Marseille, Lyon and Lille, as well as other smaller towns. In addition to anti-vaccination groups, the acts also featured protesters wearing yellow vests, symbols of the anti-government movement that has grown in the country since 2018.
Despite the scale of the demonstrations, a survey published on Friday (16) indicated that more than 60% of French people agree with the requirement of a “health pass”, as well as with compulsory vaccination for professionals health care – another measure that has drawn criticism from Macron.
During a visit to a vaccination center in Anglet, in the southwest of the country, Prime Minister Jean Castex reinforced the demand that the French agree to receive the doses. “I hear the reluctance that arises, but I think that it is necessary, at all costs, to convince our fellow citizens to be vaccinated. It is the best way to face this health crisis”, declared the Prime Minister.
Earlier this Saturday, the Castex office issued a statement in which it introduced new rules for the entry of travelers to France. From this Sunday (18), those who have not yet been vaccinated and wish to enter the country must submit tests with negative results carried out up to 24 hours before travel – before, the deadline was 48 hours for those from the UK and 72 hours for travelers from other European countries.
In addition to the British, the new rules apply to travelers from Spain, Portugal, Cyprus, Greece and the Netherlands. Also according to the statement, Cuba, Indonesia, Tunisia and Mozambique have been included in the “red list” of restrictions, of which Brazil is still a part.
Those coming from these countries must prove to the French authorities that the reason for their trip is valid. If entry is approved, even if the traveler is already vaccinated, they will have to comply with seven days of quarantine in France.
The Castex office has also informed the lifting of restrictions for travelers who are already fully immunized with a drug approved by the European Medicines Agency – Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca or Janssen – from this Saturday.
The UK, in turn, has re-enforced travel restrictions that affect those who have traveled to France. The UK government issued a directive on Friday that would end the quarantine requirement for UK residents arriving from countries on the ‘orange list’, which includes traditional European tourist destinations such as France, Italy and the United Kingdom. ‘Spain.
Shortly after, however, France was removed from the list due to what UK authorities called the “persistent presence” of cases of beta variant infection on French territory. Therefore, anyone who has been in France within ten days of entering the UK should be quarantined.
France once again surpassed the 10,000 new cases per day mark this week, but the number of people hospitalized has not increased at the same rate. According to data from the Notre Monde en Data portal, 54.42% of French people have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, and 40.07%, both. In total, the country of 67 million inhabitants records, until Saturday, 5.9 million cases and 111,000 deaths from coronaviruses, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.