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Mayors of two French cities tell police to stand down on vaccine passport enforcement

The pushback is escalating.

Two mayors in France are rebelling against the vaccine passport mandate, saying they will not require the police to enforce the new measures. Videos of police enforcing the new vaccine passport mandate for restaurants in Paris went viral this week, with many criticizing the police.

The mayor of Hayange Fabien Englemann, a member of the National Rally, called on the police not to enforce the vaccine passport mandate, arguing that the law was a violation of freedom.

“It is not the job of the municipal police, nor the national police, to carry out checks to determine whether or not they have the right to drink coffee or eat something,” Mr Engelmann said on Tuesday, according to Le Républicain Lorrain.

“Some municipalities use their municipal police to police the merchants. In Hayange, we are choosing to support them during this difficult time,” he added.

Robert Ménard, the mayor of Béziers, also said that police in his city would not be demanding to see vaccine passes from people in the outdoor areas of cafés and restaurants.

“I am in favor of the health pass, but on the terraces, it doesn’t make sense,” Ménard stated.

The vaccine pass mandate was extended to restaurants, cafés, and bars, as well as travel by bus and train since Monday. Videos of police demanding to see the passes from patrons in Paris, with many criticizing the police for enforcing the controversial law.

Businesses found not to be checking the passes could face a year in prison and up to €45,000 (approximately $52,800) in fines. Individuals refusing to produce the pass could be fined €135 (approx. $158) for the first time, and up to €9,000 (approx. $10,500) for repeat offenders.

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