Protests in France and Italy against coronavirus health pass

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Almost a quarter of a million people took to the streets across France on Saturday, for the fourth consecutive weekend of rallies for the biggest protests yet against a coronavirus health pass needed to enter a cafe or travel on an inter-city train. The new rules are st to be applied in two days. The French regulations make it obligatory to have either a full course of vaccination against COVID-19, a negative test or be recently recovered from the virus to enjoy routine activities. In one of several protests in Paris, hundreds marched from the western suburbs to the center, chanting “Freedom!” and “Macron, we don’t want your pass!” The pass has already been required since July 21 to visit cultural venues such as cinemas, theaters and museums. Its extension was approved by France’s Constitutional Council on Thursday. Most of the protests were peaceful but there were 35 arrests nationwide and seven members of the security forces were lightly wounded.

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“Get vaccinated. Get vaccinated. Get vaccinated,” Macron said in the latest video Friday. Most people in France support the health passes. More than 36 million people in France, about 54% of the population, have so far been fully vaccinated. Protests were held in a number of Italian cities on Saturday, too. “Green Pass” took effect on Friday. More than 1,000 people gathered in Piazza del Popolo in central Rome shouting “No Green Pass!” and “Freedom!”