Related Topics

  • Coronavirus pandemic

image copyrightGetty Imagesimage captionMore than 100,000 people protested against the French government's new coronavirus measures at the weekend

Two vaccination centres have been ransacked in France amid protests over the government's introduction of tougher coronavirus rules.

One site in south-east France was vandalised and flooded with fire hoses on Friday night, authorities said.

A day later, another clinic in the south-west was partially destroyed in what local media called an arson attack.

The incidents came on a weekend of demonstrations against Covid measures.

On Saturday, more than 100,000 people took to the streets across France to denounce rules designed to tackle rising infections.

The controversial measures include mandatory vaccinations for health workers and health passes to access most public places.

Critics have accused President Emmanuel Macron's government of violating their freedoms.

Anti-vaccine graffiti was found near a vandalised vaccination centre in Lans-en-Vercors near the south-eastern city of Grenoble. Saturday's arson attack targeted a clinic in the village of Urrugne near Biarritz in the south-west.

Meanwhile at a rally in Paris on Saturday, French politician Martine Wonner told protesters to "lay siege" to the offices of lawmakers who backed the government's Covid policies.

A prominent sceptic of Covid vaccines, Ms Wonner faced a potential legal inquiry and was forced to quit her opposition group in parliament on Sunday. She said her words had been misconstrued.

France has seen several acts of violence and vandalism against lawmakers who supported the new vaccination rules.

Yet hundreds of thousands of people have signed up for the jabs after Mr Macron unveiled the plan last week.

His government is attempting to curb the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant, which is causing a surge in hospital admissions.

More than 111,000 people have died with Covid in France during the pandemic, which has severely damaged the country's economy.

Last week, a panel of scientists who advise the French government warned of a fourth wave in the coming months. Only a little over half of the population has received a first dose and less than 40% have had two shots.

Surveys suggest there is widespread vaccine hesitancy in France. A study by Ipsos late last year found only 40% of people surveyed in France intended to receive a Covid vaccine.

media captionRos Atkins On… Macron’s Covid-19 Crisis