The demonstrations were held in Paris, where about 18,000 people gathered on Saturday, as well as in several other parts of France. Regional protests attracted an estimated 96,000, according to BFMTV.
On Friday, nine demonstrators were detained in Lyon amid protests against the COVID-19 passes.
On Monday, French President Emmanuel Macron announced that a health pass, certifying that the bearer has either been fully vaccinated or had a recent, negative COVID-19 test result, would become mandatory in France starting in August for those visiting bars, restaurants and shopping malls, as well as when boarding a train or airplane. Starting July 21, the pass will be required to attend cultural events, festivals, amusement parks and various shows and performances.
Concerns have been mounting in France over the Beta variant, as well as the continuing spread of the Delta variant. The country has confirmed a total of over 5.9 million COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic and France’s coronavirus death toll stands at over 111,000.