Back in December, the French President tweeted: “I have already said it, I will say it again: the vaccine will not be compulsory. Let’s have confidence in our researchers and doctors. We are the land of the Enlightenment and Pasteur, reason and science must guide us.”
He continued: “We have a new weapon against the virus: the vaccine.
“After the green light from the health authorities, the vaccination campaign begins today, in France and in Europe.
“First stage of the vaccination campaign: the elderly who live in nursing homes as well as vulnerable health professionals. Let’s spread the message to our elderly, let’s protect them as a priority.”
However, this week the French President U-turned on his promise and announced Covid vaccines would be compulsory from September.
It would be mandatory for health workers and special passes would be required for anyone wanting to go to a restaurant or on a train or a plane.
Mr Macron has been attacked by French politicians and opposition party members.
Far-right presidential rival Marine le Pen tweeted: “Serious decline in individual freedoms, deconstruction of the state, elimination of our social protection system: Macron’s roadmap is clear.
“The French will pay for the lack of planning and the incompetence of our leaders. We say no!”
Stephanie Ravier, senator for National Assembly, added: “With the Health Pass, Emmanuel Macron is sinking more and more into authoritarianism.
“The French are fed up with this mediocre little leader. Let us breathe! Let us live!”
Another National Assembly member, Julien Odoul, lashed out at Mr Macron and claimed he has divided and fractured the country.
Mr Odoul tweeted: “France united, but only for the vaccinated.
“Macron divides, fractures, deconstructs, stigmatises, sanctions.
“A president full of certainties and satisfied with himself after a lamentable crisis management.”
MEP Nicolas Bay said: “To get vaccinated or not must remain a personal choice.
“The French have had enough of restrictions, obligations.
“Freedom must come first!”
MEP Mathilde Androuet added: “Since the start of the epidemic, healthcare workers have suffered the incompetence of the government and now they are the punching bag of its tyranny.
“Shameful when we see the state of our hospitals!”
Additional reporting by Maria Ortega