French President Emmanuel Macron has been forced to back down on imposing mandatory vaccine passports for entry to shopping malls after volatile nationwide protests.
As we highlighted last week, Macron’s announcement that proof or vaccination or a negative test would be required to visit shopping malls, restaurants bars, hospitals, bars, cafés and access public transport sparked immediate demonstrations. Those continued over the weekend, with around 114,000 people participating in protests in major cities like Nantes, where police again used tear gas to disperse demonstrators.
“In Lyon, the police arrested nine demonstrators while in Lans-en-Vercors, a vaccination centre was ransacked on Saturday morning,” reports the Express. The scenes prompted Macron to have to walk back at least part of the measures, with COVID passes now only required for malls with a surface area of more than 20,000 square meters.
“Business leaders are worried and I want to reassure them: We will show understanding,” Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told the media.
As we previously documented, under the the draconian law, people in France who enter a bar or restaurant without a COVID pass face 6 months in jail, while business owners who fail to check their status face a 1 year prison sentence and a €45,000 fine. As in the UK, where vaccine passports will become mandatory for nightclubs, larger venues and potentially even pubs after that, a two tear medical apartheid is being created under which those who don’t take the jab will remain under de facto lockdown indefinitely.