The French President attempted to defend the controversial measures in a video uploaded to his Instagram after protests across the country. Thousands of protesters accused Mr Macron of running a vaccine “dictatorship”, as the new health pass will apply to bars, cafes and restaurants.
In his Instagram video, Mr Macron stated “without the health pass, another lockdown would come” in response to a user who alleged that France had become a country that doesn’t respect freedom because of the extension of the health pass.
He then said: “If we did not have the health pass today, we would be forced to have another lockdown, that is to say to put a strain on everyone.
“With the health pass, it is only applied to those who have not been vaccinated yet.
“I would be happy to abandon the health pass, the mask, and the barrier gestures against the virus because that would mean one very simple thing: that the battle would be won and that the epidemic would be over, but that is unfortunately not the case.”
Mr Philippot then referenced Mr Macron’s claims ‘with the Health Pass, we only put the strain on the unvaccinated’.”
He said: “Dares to say Macron, who is supposed to defend national unity.
“And then we are told that there is no discrimination, no separation, no apartheid? Come on, assume your horrors!”
Joffrey Bollée, member of Les Patriotes, also said: “Lockdowns were never effective, not even before vaccines.
“Today, with less dangerous variants and vaccines for the weakest, there is less reason than ever to give in to this heinous and deceptive blackmail.”
From August 9, it will be obligatory to show a health pass proving that you are vaccinated or have tested negative for Covid in a new setting, including long-distance transport, restaurants and cafés.
After the initial limited health pass rollout on July 21, French people voiced their anger over the plans.
Azak Attila, owner of the bistro L’Odyssée, told The Guardian checking all his clientele will be unworkable
He then said: “Even many of the ones who are vaccinated, they say they’ll refuse to show their pass on principle.
“I think Macron wanted to frighten people into getting vaccinated, but without ordering them directly to do it.
“It’s a bit dictatorial – I know about this kind of behaviour from when I lived in Turkey. But I never thought it would happen this way in France.”
Additional reporting by Maria Ortega