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Thousands protest against new Covid-19 rules
White Silent March

Thousands protest against new Covid-19 rules

14 by Heledd PRITCHARD 2 min. 30.10.2021 From our online archive
Around 3,500 people walked silently through Luxembourg's capital in "white march"
Participants dressed in white outside the Philharmonie in Kirchberg
Participants dressed in white outside the Philharmonie in Kirchberg
Photo credit: Gerry Huberty

Thousands of people gathered in Luxembourg City on Friday evening to protest the new Covid-19 rules which will make it harder for the unvaccinated to get to work and to enter restaurants and bars.

From Monday, companies will be able to ask their staff to undergo the CovidCheck system and show proof they are vaccinated, have recently tested negative or have recovered from the deadly disease. 

Companies can withhold salaries from staff who refuse to comply, bar them from entering the workplace, or even dismiss them.

Around 3,500 people dressed in white and carrying white balloons walked silently from the Philharmonie in Kirchberg to the city hall at Place Guillaume in the city centre on Friday evening.

Under the new rules, people wanting to dine out or go to the cinema also have to undergo the CovidCheck - a measure previously applied only for groups of four if sitting inside, and 10 if sitting outside. The government’s aim is to encourage more people to get vaccinated.

The march was the fourth to be organised in Luxembourg. Participants were encouraged to attend without placards or slogans and dress in white, information on the group’s Facebook page shows. 

While the page does not specify exactly what they are protesting against, it states that “freedom of choice is a fundamental and inalienable right. We, the people, are resolved to work towards a united society.”

Around 63% of Luxembourg's population is fully vaccinated. In Germany, the number stands at 66%, in France at 68% and in Belgium it is 74%, the Oxford University's Our World in Data website shows.

A petition calling on lawmakers not to discriminate against citizens who choose not to take an injection against Covid-19 gained an unusually high 11,686 number of signatures on Friday and will now be debated in parliament.

The latest measures have drawn criticism from trade unions and Luxembourg's de facto upper chamber, the State Council, which advises on legislation, who raising concerns over the powers the new rules would hand employers.

A total of 843 people have died of Covid-19 in Luxembourg.

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