Tear gas fired amid clashes at vaccine passport protests in Paris

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Police fired tear gas at protesters in Paris amid fierce clashes at demonstrations against COVID vaccine passports.

Protesters marched on the French capital to voice their displeasure at the introduction of vaccine passes starting on 9 August.

Legislation was passed on Wednesday to require a proof of vaccination, recent recovery from the disease, or a negative test for a variety of scenarios.

Protestors march waving French flags during a demonstration in Paris, France, Saturday, July 31, 2021. Demonstrators gathered in several cities in France on Saturday to protest against the COVID-19 pass, which grants vaccinated individuals greater ease of access to venues. (AP Photo/Adrienne Surprenant)
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Thousands of protesters took to the streets of Paris. Pic: AP

This includes eating at cafes, getting on trains or boarding a plane.

At least four marches took place in Paris on Saturday, as well as a number of other protests around the country.

Previous demonstrations have been against the proposal of restrictions, and other steps the government has taken to try and control the pandemic.

A protestor waves a sign which reads 'freedom' in the middle of French flags during a demonstration in Paris, France, Saturday, July 31, 2021. Demonstrators gathered in several cities in France on Saturday to protest against the COVID-19 pass, which grants vaccinated individuals greater ease of access to venues. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
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Some think the vaccine passports infringe on their liberty. Pic: AP

It comes as France faces a spike in coronavirus cases, with the delta variant now taking hold.

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Many of those demonstrating against vaccine passes say they are a violation of their liberty.

Around 3,000 members of the security forces have been deployed to Paris this weekend, with many stationed on the Champs-Elysees to prevent the famous avenue from being overrun.

Some parts of the capital saw muted protests, but tempers flared in other areas.

Protestors stand in front of policemen during a demonstration in Lyon, central France, Saturday, July 31, 2021. Demonstrators gathered in several cities in France on Saturday to protest against the COVID-19 pass, which grants vaccinated individuals greater ease of access to venues. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)
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A number of the demonstrations were peaceful. Pic: AP

Outside the famous Moulin Rouge club, riot police threw punches to disperse violent protesters, and tear gas was launched into crowds.

More than 24,000 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in France on Friday – this compares to just a few thousand per day at the start of July.

Police detain a protestor during a demonstration in Paris, France, Saturday, July 31, 2021. Demonstrators gathered in several cities in France on Saturday to protest against the COVID-19 pass, which grants vaccinated individuals greater ease of access to venues. (AP Photo/Adrienne Surprenant)
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Police arrested a number of protesters. Pic: AP

According to the Johns Hopkins University tracker, 72,887,307 vaccine doses have been administered in France, with 31,841,857 people – 47.48% of adults – fully inoculated.

The government is trying to encourage people to get jabbed, after a slow start to the rollout.

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Vaccines are now widely available, with some jab centres available at beaches.

There have been 6,166,690 cases in the country during the pandemic, according to Johns Hopkins, and 112,011 deaths.

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