Around 175,000 individuals protested against the health pass restrictions in France this weekend, including 15,000 in Paris although there were 40,000 fewer protesters countrywide than the weekend before, according to police data. It was the sixth weekend of protests in a row.

Many others slammed the measure, believing that the French government was implying that vaccinations were mandatory. Four demonstrations were planned by various groups in Paris, while over 200 protests were held in other French cities and towns. More than 200,000 people attended the march last week.

The pass verifies that persons have been completely vaccinated, have recently had a negative test, or have confirmation of a recent COVID-19 recovery. It was also made necessary for French health professionals to get vaccinated by September 15 under the statute permitting it.

COVID-19 health pass prompts thousands of protests in France

Despite the rallies, polls suggest that the majority of French people favor the health pass. Millions of individuals have received their first COVID-19 vaccine shot since French President Emmanuel Macron announced the decision on July 12, AP News reported.

Since last month, France has been reporting a significant number of infections - over 22,000 per day, which has been steady over the previous week. In France, 70.2 percent of the population or more over 47 million people have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, while more than 40.5 million people, or 60.5 percent, have been fully vaccinated. 

Per Fiji Times, the COVID-19 health pass is certified evidence with a QR code that verifies a person has received the vaccination. Many French restaurants, museums, bars, and sports arenas won't let you in unless you have a valid health pass.

Although the majority of French people have been vaccinated against COVID-19, protestors claim that the health pass discriminates against those who have not and infringes on people's rights. The demonstrations have brought together a diverse group of people who are opposed to the health pass, which is intended to encourage more people to be vaccinated and safeguard France from a fourth wave of the virus.

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France, Australia's COVID-19 cases increased

Far-right politician Florian Philippot, leader of the "Les Patriotes" party, led the largest rally in Paris, while left-wing demonstrators affiliated with the "Yellow Vests" movement also took part. Meanwhile, CNN reported that hundreds of protestors in Australia defied lockdown orders amid more aggressive rallies in the country's major cities.

Hundreds of unmasked protesters marched through the streets of Victoria following a lockdown order for the whole state before a confrontation with police that left six cops injured. Officers deployed pepper balls and pepper spray, according to police sources, and penalized hundreds of individuals for breaking the health legislation.

Protests against lockdown orders were also staged earlier this month in Sydney, the country's largest city.  According to ABC News in Australia, police detained scores of individuals and handed more than 250 penalties for breaking public health regulations.

The demonstration occurred a day after a record 825 infections were reported in New South Wales, the country's most populated state. Premier Gladys Berejiklian told residents to be calm and accept that the virus's highly contagious Delta variant has arrived.

According to statistics from Johns Hopkins University, COVID-19 cases increased in France and Australia throughout the summer. In the previous 28 days, France has seen 644,846 cases. During the same period, Australia reported 10,366.

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