Macron appeals for French unity in virus fight

Macron appeals for French unity in virus fight
French President Emmanuel Macron applauds as he watches the Olympic basketball game between France and the US in Tokyo (Jeff Roberson/AP)

French President Emmanuel Macron has appealed for national unity to fight the resurgent coronavirus, and lashed out at those fuelling anti-vaccination sentiment and protests.

About 160,000 people protested around France on Saturday against a special Covid-19 pass for restaurants and mandatory vaccinations for health workers.

Many marchers shouted “Liberty!” and said the government should not tell them what to do.

Thousands of protesters gather at Place Trocadero near the Eiffel Tower to demonstrate against the Covid-19 pass which grants vaccinated individuals greater ease of access to venues (Rafael Yaghobzadeh/AP)

Mr Macron visited a hospital in French Polynesia on Saturday night.

He asked: “What is your freedom worth if you say to me ‘I don’t want to be vaccinated’, but tomorrow you infect your father, your mother or myself?”

He said protesters are “free to express themselves in a calm and respectful manner” but added that demonstrations will not make the coronavirus go away.

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