Plans for vaccine passes provoke protests in France, Switzerland and Italy

Access to the comments Comments
By Mark Armstrong
Plans for vaccine passes provoke protests in France, Switzerland and Italy
Copyright  PHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP or licensors

Government plans to make access to public spaces conditional on health checks have provoked more protest demonstrations in France, Switzerland and Italy.

Under the schemes, vaccination cards, or a recent negative Covid-19 test, are to be made obligatory for those wanting to visit cultural, sporting and social events.

Throughout France, around 200.000 people took to the streets to protest against the proposals, which would also make vaccinations compulsory for health workers. In Paris, a demonstration resulted in clashes with police.

"Personally, I am not vaccinated, and I won't be,” said one protester. “It doesn't matter what we are forbidden from doing, going to stores, swimming pools, cinemas, it doesn't matter ... Life is priceless. Freedom, that's precisely it, freedom to not to be vaccinated, and not to give in to the government's blackmail."

Across the border in Switzerland opposition to covid vaccines is not as strong but still more than 4,000 people gathered in Lucerne to protest against any kind of vaccine restrictions. Like the demonstrators in France, they see such a policy as an attack on civil liberties.

And in neighbouring Italy, there were two protests in Rome. One was organised by political groups opposed to restrictions on vaccinated people and the other by bar and restaurant owners. The Green Pass will be required in the country from August 6 to enter most indoor public spaces.