Against the health pass, protesters organize wild terraces in France

While the health pass is now a pre-requisite for setting up in bars, restaurants, cinemas, hospitals and certain transport systems in France, protesters called on August 9 to organize “wild terraces”, with the corresponding hashtag on social networks, as a sign of resistance. An action that comes in the wake of four weeks of mobilization against this measure in the streets of the country.

In Toulouse, they notably gathered at Place du Capitole around makeshift tables and chairs, snubbing the selective terraces with their own drinks and food, all to music.

In Paris too, there were a few who organized wild terraces, as can be seen in this initiative of two men who placed their camping table and chairs right next to a bar. Lawyer Fabrice Di Vizio commented on this video in these terms: “We remind you that the temporary and peaceful occupation of the public domain is legal! Only behavior likely to disturb public order is prohibited, such as preventing access to a shop! Principle of the picnic! So up to your ideas. ”

Slightly more numerous, Place de la Fontaine des innocents in the 1st arrondissement of Paris, they were a few with their signs denouncing the sanitary pass to take an aperitif in complete freedom. Some signs were careful to specify that the protagonists were not anti-vaccine but anti-pass.

The owners of bars and restaurants worried

On the morning of August 9, with the entry into force of the health pass, the police in uniform or in civilian clothes began to control restaurants and bars, targeting urban and tourist areas as a priority. Images of these controls have toured social networks and prompted many comments criticizing the restrictions on freedoms.

Restaurateurs met by AFP in France on August 9 underlined their fear of losing customers and their apprehension of having to deal with tense situations, such as David Fourton, manager of the “Sainte Croix” café in Bordeaux, who considers the pass like “a plague”. The same goes for Hadrien Garcia, manager of the café brasserie “Intendance” on the course of the same name, who fears, for his part, the overflow. “It is clearly restrictive, it lengthens our order taking process and we quickly find ourselves overwhelmed”, he explains.

At the time of the lunch break, on Avenue du Prado in Marseille, “there are no crowds”, observes the boss of the O’Prado brewery, Michaël Esterle, who indicates that he refused during the morning ” half of the customers ”do not have a pass. Place Saint-Pierre in Toulouse, the manager of the popular bars “Chez Tonton” and “La Couleur de la Culotte” hired an additional employee to control the health pass. “Lunch is manageable, but in the evening, the servers don’t have time,” explains the woman who is nicknamed “Granny Françoise” to AFP.

A professional who does not apply the required controls incurs, if this breach is found “more than three times in a period of 45 days”, up to 9,000 euros in fines and one year in prison.

The introduction of the health pass is disputed in the street: for the fourth consecutive weekend, nearly 237,000 people marched in peace on August 7, according to figures from the Ministry of the Interior. Already in force in several European countries, and in France in places of culture since July 21, the health pass takes the form of a QR code to be presented in restaurants and cafes, at the cinema, at the museum, at the theater, in long-distance transport and even in hospitals, except emergency departments.

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