At 6pm, the Ministry of the Interior said it had counted 204,090 demonstrators, including 14,250 in Paris and a total of 184 events, French daily Le Monde reported. This compares with the 150,000 expected.
Last Saturday, 161,000 people took part in demonstrations, including 11,000 in Paris.
Most demonstrations were uneventful on Saturday, but in Paris, some protesters clashed with riot police, who used tear gas to disperse them.
According to the Ministry, there were 19 arrests, including 10 in Paris where three police offers were also injured.
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Four demonstrations were planned for Paris, one of which left the Villiers metro station late Saturday morning.
Before the procession set off, one member of the populist ‘Gilet Jaunes’ protest movement berated “the members of the government, the members of the media who are there to sell you the efficacy of vaccines without even having any proof,” saying he felt “demonised”, Le Monde reported.
By mid-afternoon, “over 10,000 people” were taking part, the paper’s reporter estimated.
Another demonstration, called by Florian Philipot, the former second-in-command of France’s National Front party, set off from near Montparnasse station towards the Ministry of Health.
Several demonstrators — most of whom were unmasked — sported red, white and blue flags, while one wore a ripped up European flag, Le Monde reported.
However, the paper said the demonstration was uneventful and some 1,000 to 2,000 people took part.
In the South of France, police said 8,500 people protested in Montpellier and 6,500 in Nice, some 500 more than the previous week.
In Marseille, police used tear gas to prevent protesters from getting too close to the police headquarters in the city, an AFP reporter said.
And, in Strasbourg, police said 3,200 people were taking part in protests in the city centre, but reported no problems.
Protesters also gathered in the La Réunion despite the partial weekend lockdown in place in the French overseas territory, which is facing a rapid increase in Covid-19 cases.
Of those who support them, 65 percent justified this by opting for the response “not liking what you have to do being forced on you/feeling you don’t have the choice”.
According to another poll from 16th July, this time by Ipsos-Sopra Steria for FranceInfo and Le Parisien, 62 percent of French people at that time said they were favourable to the implementation of the health pass to enter public places and 69 percent supported compulsory vaccination for health care workers.
Extension planned for August 9th
The health pass was definitively adopted last Sunday evening after six days of heated debates.
It has been in force for visits to museums, cinemas and cultural venues with a capacity of more than 50 people since July 21st.
The latest legislation extends its use and makes a Covid-19 health pass compulsory for other day-to-day activities, such as visiting a cafe, boarding a plane or travelling on an inter-city train on 9th August.
It also makes vaccination compulsory for health-workers and carers.
A valid health pass is generated by two jabs from a recognised vaccine, a negative coronavirus test or a recent recovery from infection.
The law is subject to the approval of the influential Constitutional Council, which will give its decision on August 5th.
Those who have not been vaccinated against Covid-19 represent around 85 percent of hospital admissions in France and 78 percent of deaths due to the virus, according to a study by Drees, France’s national research and statistics agency, published on Friday.
Since the beginning of July, more than 8.2 million first vaccine doses have been administered, according to official figures published on Friday, July 30th.
As of Friday, 62.5 percent of the population have received at least one injection and 52.1 percent are fully vaccinated, according to the figures.