Over 160,000 People Demonstrate Against Coronavirus Passes In France

Over 160,000 People Demonstrate Against Coronavirus Passes in France

PARIS (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 25th July, 2021) More than 160,000 people took to the streets across France on Saturday, protesting against new coronavirus restrictions, with violence reported in some cities and at least nine arrests made.

In Paris alone, about 11,000 demonstrators gathered to express dissatisfaction with the new safety regulations, particularly the COVID-19 health pass that has come into effect amid a surge in infections, according to BFMTV.

Overall, more than 160 demonstrations were held across France on Saturday. Clashes with police were reported in some cities, including Paris and Lyon.

"I strongly condemn the violent behavior which targeted certain police officers, gendarmes and journalists. In Paris, 9 individuals were arrested," French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said on Twitter.

According to a Sputnik correspondent, protesters clashed with police officers not far from Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

Meanwhile, France Télévisions reported that some of its journalists were attacked by protesters in Marseille on Saturday.

French President Emmanuel Macron announced earlier in July a series of new restrictions to contain the spread of COVID-19. Starting August, restaurants, bars, shopping centers, airplanes and long-distance trains will require a special pass indicating that a person has either been vaccinated or has a negative test result for COVID-19. Macron has also introduced mandatory vaccination for French healthcare workers.

Large-scale protests swept through many cities across France last weekend. Another rally is scheduled for Sunday.