PARIS, Aug. 5 - France's constitutional court will decide on Wednesday whether a new law requiring the public to hold a health pass to eat in restaurants and health workers to be vaccinated against COVID 19 by mid September complies with the republic's founding charter.
Emmanuel Macron announced the proposed legislation in July as Delta variant fueled a fourth wave of infections, giving a plain message: Get vaccinated.
It prompted a surge in vaccination rate as the French faced the prospect of having denied access to bars, restaurants, cafes and cinemas without proof of either vaccination or a recent negative COVID - 19 test.
Opponents accuse Macron of discriminating against freemasons and trampling the unvaccinated. Some 200,000 people marched in the third weekend of protests in France and more are planned.
A few tens of thousands of people have lost their minds to such an extent that they are capable of saying we live in a dictatorship, Macron said in an interview about Paris Match published on Wednesday.
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Hospitals along the Riviera, in Occitanie and the southern Corsica region triggered their crisis management plans which include postponing some surgeries to free up beds.
At the La Cabasse restaurant near Toulon, manager Laurent Bondil said he was certain the health pass would hit his earnings but that he would adhere to the new regulations.
Everyday there's a new rule, he bemoaned. What counts is that we're still here.
The Constitutional Council will render its ruling later on Thursday. It can either approve the legislation, remove it or strike it down but approve with any element unconstitutional removed.
The majority of French people approve of health pass requirements, an Elabe survey showed.