French President Emmanuel Macron has insisted that French people who continue to refuse to get COVID-19 vaccines are not acting like citizens.
Macron made the remark during an interview published by the Le Parisien newspaper on Tuesday. The French president said he hoped to “hassle” those who were “irresponsible” enough to refuse vaccines into getting their jabs.
A bill that would effectively strip the unvaccinated of the right to participate in most aspects of public life is currently being debated in the French parliament.
“We have to tell them, you will no longer be able to go to the restaurant,” Macron said during the interview, according to a translation from The Guardian. “You will no longer be able to go for a coffee, you will no longer be able to go to the theatre. You will no longer be able to go to the cinema.”
“When my freedoms threaten those of others, I become someone irresponsible,” he added. “Someone irresponsible is not a citizen.”
Macron noted that “only a very small minority” of French citizens were still refusing the shots, with around 90% of the country’s eligible population already being vaccinated.
He argued that while he would not send the unvaccinated “to jail” or force them to get vaccines, “pis*** them off even more” could be an effective strategy for convincing the hesitant.