Frexit campaigner and leader of the Les Patriotes party Florian Philippot, has called on the public to protest against the government’s handling of the virus and possibility of a vaccine passport. Mr Philippot stated in a social media post to his followers the public must stop the use of the “diabolical vaccine passport”. He said: “All in Paris!
“Large demonstration in front of the Ministry of Health this Saturday 20/02 at 3pm against the diabolical Vaccine Passport!
“Complaining is good, going is better! Freedom!”
In other posts, the Frexit campaigner had also called on the public to “free themselves” of the “infamy” of the government.
Although the government has so far rejected the accusation it will bring in a vaccine passport, officials are contemplating the need for one due to the rise in anti-vaxxers in the country.
A high-ranking French official told radio station French Inter: “The day when 20 percent of the French population refuse to be vaccinated, they will have to assume the consequences.
“When all of our European neighbours have it in place, we won’t have another choice to travel and avoid quarantines.”
In a study released this month, almost 40 percent of those asked will not get vaccinated.
Due to this high number, which is one of the highest in Europe, there are plans in certain EU countries to bring in a vaccine passport to allow citizens to travel and use hospitality venues.
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States such as Italy, Spain, Sweden, Denmark and Estonia are all pushing in the direction of passport, while Greece and Cyprus have signed an agreement with Israel so that vaccinated people can travel from one country to another without constraints.
Emmanuel Rivière, Kantar’s director of international polling said: “Vaccine hesitancy remains for large minorities in France, Germany and the US, where citizens can be twice or three times as likely to trust their family doctor as they are central government.
“This will clearly need to be reflected in governments’ campaigns.”
As well as the controversy surrounding any possible vaccine passport, Mr Macron has come under fire for how his government has handled the coronavirus crisis.
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According to figures from Our World in Data, France has only vaccinated 4.44 people per 100 in comparison to the UK’s 23.33 as of February 14.
Indeed, according to the data, France has one of the lowest vaccination rates across the EU with Malta recording one of the highest rates at 11.7.
Although the UK Government has not confirmed plans for vaccine passports, Nadhim Zahawi stated if other countries do so, Britain should follow suit.
The Vaccines Minister had previously ruled out passports but told BBC Breakfast: “If other countries will require a vaccine certificate then I think it’s right that we facilitate it.
“People already when they travel they have to have, for certain countries, a yellow fever certificate.
“I think it’s right that we do that. That’s what we’re working on.