Thousands of people on Saturday marched across France to protest mandatory vaccinations for healthcare workers and COVID-19 passes that would be required to enter restaurants and other venues.
A march in Paris led by a far-right, anti-vaccine politician drew an usually sizable crowd, swelled by anger over the new virus rules that French President Emmanuel Macron announced last week.
Marchers chanted “Liberty,” and carried signs denouncing a “medical dictatorship” and Macron. Demonstrations also took place in Strasbourg in the east, Lille in the north, Montpellier in the south and elsewhere in France.
Macron’s measures are aimed at slowing the spread of the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 and protecting hospitals from a new surge.
He ordered all healthcare workers to get vaccinated by Sept. 15, and announced that special COVID-19 passes would be required in all restaurants, bars, hospitals, shopping malls, trains and planes.
To get a pass, which would be needed at restaurants starting next month, people must be fully vaccinated, have recently recovered from COVID-19, or have a negative virus test.
The measures have prompted record numbers of people to sign up for vaccinations in the past few days — but have also prompted anger among some groups.
The French government announced tightened border controls starting yesterday, but also said it would allow in travelers from anywhere in the world who have been fully vaccinated. That includes people who received AstraZeneca’s Indian-manufactured COVID-19 vaccine.
The move to start accepting visitors vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine made by India’s Serum Institute came after a global outcry over the EU’s COVID-19 certificate only recognizing AstraZeneca vaccines manufactured in Europe.
Several other EU countries recognize the Indian version, which is used in the UK and across Africa. The varied rules in each country have further complicated this summer’s travel season.
France still does not recognize the COVID-19 vaccines made in China or Russia, only the ones authorized by the EU drug regulator: those made by Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca.
Starting yesterday, France would also start requiring anyone who is not vaccinated arriving from Britain, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, Greece or Cyprus to present a negative COVID-19 test less than 24 hours old to cross French borders.
The government also added Tunisia, Indonesia, Cuba and Mozambique to France’s “red list” of countries with high virus risk, according to Saturday’s statement.
However, France would grant entry to travelers from any red list countries if they are fully vaccinated.
Ethiopia’s Afar region on Friday called on civilians to take up arms against rebels from neighboring Tigray, signaling a potential escalation in fighting that has already displaced tens of thousands this week. “Every Afar should protect their land with any means available, whether by guns, sticks or stones,” regional President Awol Arba said in an interview aired by regional state media. “No weapons can make us kneel down. We will win this war with our strong determination.” Tigrayan rebels launched operations in Afar last weekend, saying they were targeting pro-government troops massing along the two regions’ shared border. A government official said on
The Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan has fully vaccinated 90 percent of its eligible adult population within just seven days, the Bhutanese Ministry of Health said on Tuesday. The tiny country, wedged between India and China and home to nearly 800,000 people, began giving out second doses on Tuesday last week in a mass drive that has been hailed by the UN Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) as “arguably the fastest vaccination campaign to be executed during a pandemic.” Bhutan grabbed headlines in April when its government said it had inoculated about the same percentage of eligible adults with the first dose
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For almost 500 years, the arch that connects the largest Gothic cathedral in the world with its Renaissance sacristy has offered visitors a sumptuous, if little glimpsed — and even less studied — vision of religious bounty. The 68 beautifully carved plates of food that adorn the archway in Seville’s cathedral offer rather more than bread and wine. There are pigs’ trotters and wild strawberries, aubergines, clams and oysters. There are peaches, radishes, a skinned hare with a knife by its side, a squirrel served on a bed of hazelnuts and a plate of lemons across which a small snake slithers. There