French Mayors Rebel, Say They Will Not Enforce Vaccine Passport at Cafes

A policeman checks the health pass of a customer at a bar in Bordeaux, southwestern France, on August 11, 2021. - People in France must now show a health pass to order a coffee in a cafe or travel on intercity trains as French President's controversial plan to squeeze infections …

Two French mayors in Beziers and Hayange have called on police not to enforce vaccine passport controls in cafes or restaurants.

Fabien Engelmann, mayor of Hayange and a member of Marine Le Pen’s National Rally (RN), asked local police not to enforce the coronavirus health pass in the commune, arguing that the domestic vaccine passport was anti-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 Actu.

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

Mayor of Béziers Robert Ménard, a close ally of Marine Le Pen but not a member of the National Rally, has also announced that police in his city will not demand to see the health pass for people who are in outdoor areas of cafes and restaurants.

“I am in favour of the health pass, but on the terraces, it doesn’t make sense,” Ménard stated on Monday, according to France Bleu.

Video footage of police patrolling the streets of Paris and demanding health pass papers went viral earlier this week, with many criticising officers’ actions.

Since Monday, the health pass has been required for all those entering restaurants, bars, and cafes across France as well as being mandator for some travel on busses, trains, and aeroplanes.

The pass records whether or not a person has been vaccinated, information on recent negative tests, and whether the individual has recovered from the Chinese virus within the last six months.

Businesses that do not check customers have the health pass could face fines of up to €45,000 (£38,090/$52,826) and a year in prison. Those who refuse to produce the health pass can be fined €135 (£114/$158) for a first offence but up to €9,000 (£7,618/$10,565) for repeat offenders.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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