Photo doesn’t show Covid protest in Paris

19 July 2021
What was claimed

Photograph of people filling the streets of Paris was taken during protests against Covid-19 regulations on 17 July 2021.

Our verdict

False. Although there were protests in Paris on this day, this photograph was taken during celebrations after France won the World Cup in 2018.

A post on Facebook shared almost 1,000 times shows people lining the streets of Paris. The caption of the post claims this photograph was taken on 17 July 2021, when there were protests in the French capital over Covid-19 rules. However, this photograph actually shows celebrations in the city after France won the World Cup in 2018. 

Since this fact check was published, the Facebook post has been updated to show a different image of people protesting against Covid-19 regulations.

On 12 July, French president Emmanuel Macron announced new measures against Covid-19, including the introduction of Covid-19 ‘passports’ and that vaccination will become mandatory for all health workers. 

The planned new measures have led to large protests in the country. Reuters reported that there were 137 protests across France on 17 July, gathering nearly 114,000 people. Of these protestors, 18,000 were in Paris, according to the French government. 

However, this photograph, which appears to show far more than 18,000 people, was not taken during these protests. A reverse image search shows this photograph was used by multiple news outlets reporting on France’s victory in the 2018 World Cup.

Posts suggesting the image was taken during the protests on 17 July have also been widely shared on Twitter, including by lockdown sceptic Ivor Cummins. 

Update 20 July 2021

This story was updated after the Facebook post was edited to show a different picture.

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