Emmanuel Macron cracks down on deluge of fake Covid passports as cases in France surge

Vaccine passport protestors descend on Marble Arch

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French President Emmanuel Macron, 43, has overseen a crackdown on fake Covid passports amid a surge in virus-related hospitalisations. Macron’s interior minister Gerald Darmanin, 39, confirmed the clampdown on Sunday.

Mr Darmanin made the announcement after pointing out on RTL radio how several thousand fake vaccine passes were in use across France.

He added this even included some of those “connected to health professionals”.

In one instance a woman died in a Paris regional hospital after showing a fake vaccine certificate.

AP News added the hospital would have given the patient immediate antibody treatment if they were aware she was unjabbed.

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However, the ex-centre right politician could not provide further details on the total number of arrests.

Reuters reports France recorded 43,848 new infections on December 12.

This is more than double the French figure for November 18, which stood at 20,366.

In response, France is ramping up efforts to hand out booster vaccines.

French Prime Minister Jean Castex, 56, said: “People can celebrate Christmas normally, but we must respect the rules…and get vaccinated.”

The Government in Paris has also closed nightclubs and tightened social distancing rules.

However, French authorities hope to avoid imposing yet another lockdown.

Health Minister Oliver Veran, 41, told Le Parisien the virus was starting to slow after he considered the “epidemic wave is violent”.

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Vaccine passports became mandatory on the other side of the Channel back in August when they were introduced at cinemas, museums, theatres, bars, nightclubs, planes and long-distance trains.

Writing about vaccine passports in France, ex-BBC journalist Andrew Neil, 72, said: “At the restaurant door we were politely asked for our vaccine passports, the QR codes on our smartphones were scanned and we were ushered to our table.

“The check had taken seconds — a very minor inconvenience when a new wave of the coronavirus pandemic is sweeping across the Continent.”

Despite Neil’s comments, footage circulating on social media shows anti-vaccine protesters clash with police in Paris.

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