Martinique COVID-19 lockdown protests intensify

In the neighbourhood of Godissard protesters set fire to a petrol station and used a digger to break into a post office and rip out the ATM from the wall.

Drivers were forced to change routes as many roads remained blocked by barricades of burnt cars and debris.

The French health ministry on Friday annouced that it was postponing a deadline for mandatory vaccination of health workers in the French Caribbean until December 31, after the measure spurred widespread protests on the French territories Guadeloupe and Martinique.

Compulsory vaccinations for health workers, a measure already introduced on the French mainland, had fuelled resentment among the islands' majority Black population.

Some on the islands have called the mandate a throwback to France's slavery era, insisting that they should be allowed to make their own choices about health treatment.

Local authorities on Martinique had ordered a curfew on Thursday after protesters looted shops and set up burning barricades.