Protests in Italy against Covid health pass

Protests in Italy against Covid health pass
Members of the 'No Vax' movement take part in a demonstration against the introduction of a mandatory green pass at the Piazza del Popolo in central Rome on August 7th, 2021. Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP
Protests were held in several Italian cities on Saturday against the introduction of new measures requiring proof of coronavirus status at many indoor venues.

More than 1,000 people gathered in Piazza del Popolo in central Rome shouting “No Green Pass!” and “Freedom!”.

Thousands more marched in Milan, with some comparing themselves to holocaust victims by wearing Star of David badges, like those worn by Jews in Nazi-era Germany, with the words “not vaccinated”, the ANSA news agency reported.

A member of the ‘No Vax’ movement holds up a banner reading “Grrrreeen No Pass! We are free women and men!”. (Photo by Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP)

Around 100 people from the “No Vax” movement also gathered in Naples, objecting in particular to vaccinations for children, shouting “Hands off the children” and “Shame! Shame!”.

The green pass health certificate became compulsory in Italy on Friday to enter cinemas, museums and indoor sports venues or to eat indoors at restaurants.

Members of the ‘No Vax’ movement with banners at the demonstration in Rome’s Piazza del Popolo. (Photo by Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP)

The green pass proves bearers have either been vaccinated with at least one dose, have recovered from Covid-19 within the past six months, or have tested negative in the previous 48 hours.

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One of the posters at the ‘No Vax’ movement demonstration in central Rome on August 7th, 2021. (Photo by Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP)

There have already been pockets of protests against the measure in recent weeks, though on a smaller scale than expected.

School and university staff will need the pass, as will university students, while from September 1st it will be required on domestic flights and long-distance trains.

It is the latest tool used to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, which has left more than 128,000 people dead in Italy and last year brought the economy to a shuddering halt.

A successful vaccination campaign has helped turn the tide in recent months, with more than 63 percent of the population over the age of 12 now fully jabbed.

However, the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant is causing concern, with almost 7,000 new cases reported on Saturday.


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