Gilet jaunes protests are Macron's 'achilles heel' says expert
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The pass sanitaire (health passport) is required by law to enter a range of establishments from gyms to coffee bars across France. It was due to come to an end in the middle of November.
But as Covid cases continue to spike across the country, Mr Macron announced plans to extend its requirement until next July.
This has sparked further uproar from many, who say that it is not the job of cafe owners or gym staff to police whether people have been vaccinated.
Mr Macron announced his plans despite previously saying that health passes “should not be compulsory to access places of everyday life”.
The news emerged as it was also announced that from tomorrow people who haven’t been vaccinated will have to pay for the Covid tests they need to enter public spaces.
Combined, the developments have led to 100 local politicians signing an open letter rebelling against the French President’s plans.
It says: “Since the beginning of the crisis, we have been on the front line. We know the human and economic cost of this pandemic.
“We can therefore testify here that if our country has been able to get through this unprecedented ordeal, it is only through the unity and concord between the population and its elected representatives.
“However, every day, in our towns of Haute-Savoie, whether they are large or small, rural or urban, we see division gradually creeping in.
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“We see the couples that we have united torn apart. We are witnessing the break-up of century-old associations.
“We are seeing restaurant owners who are already on the verge of financial ruin refusing to welcome customers.
“More generally, we see politics intruding where it had no place before. Pro and anti, whether on the subject of the pass or the vaccine, suddenly find themselves in opposition, where they were living peacefully in harmony.
“The permanent controls are reminders, stabs in this wound of discord. They are carried out by men and women who do not have the vocation to do so.
“Yesterday, our municipal police officers could not check people’s identities in the street, today security guards or volunteers from associations are forced to set up filtering barriers at the entrance of gyms or shopping centres.
“In this unprecedented societal implosion, we see our public services, already fragile, suffer the full force of the suspension of agents.”
It goes on to say that with two-thirds of the population being double jabbed, it is “time to bring the system into line with the President’s past statements” about the passes not being compulsory.
The statement adds: “It is time to trust our people, to recognise their freedom and responsibility.
“It is time to remove from the already heavy daily life of our fellow citizens the discord created by this system, to remove from the frail shoulders of those who have not asked for anything, a control that they do not have to assume at their level.
“It is time for us, as local elected representatives, to give up the control of the health pass of the daily life of the French.”
Additional reporting by Maria Ortega
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