SHARE
COPY LINK

PROTESTS

IN PICTURES: Demonstrators and far right clash with police in Rome after green pass protest

Thousands of people gathered in Rome's Piazza Del Popolo on Saturday shouting "Draghi, Draghi, vaffanculo [f**k you]", ahead of the extension of the Covid-19 health pass system to all workplaces on Friday.

Demonstrators on the streets of Rome on Saturday night protesting the expansion of Italy's Covid-19 green pass system.
Demonstrators on the streets of Rome on October 9th, 2021 protesting the expansion of Italy's Covid-19 green pass system. Photo: Tiziana FABI / AFP

An estimated ten thousand people including members of far-right groups demonstrated in central Rome on Saturday against the extension of the Covid-19 health pass system to all workplaces.

There were scuffles with police as the demonstrators took aim at the health pass, which has been a requirement to enter museums, sporting events and restaurants since August.

READ ALSO: Anti-vax protesters in Rome target PM’s office and trade union headquarters

A protester rudely gesticulates at a policeman during protests against Italy's 'green pass'.

A protester gesticulates at a policeman during protests against Italy’s green pass. Photo by Tiziana FABI / AFP

Although the march was authorised, several hundred people broke off from the main column and tried to march on parliament.

Police used water cannon and tear gas to stop them, arresting several people during clashes, the AGI news agency reported.

Members of what appeared to be the far-right group Forza Nuova attacked and occupied the headquarters of CGIL, the Italian General Confederation of Labour.

Italian riot police surround protesters in a bid to contain demonstrations which saw one group try to storm the Prime Minister's office.

Italian riot police surround protesters in a bid to contain demonstrations which saw one group try to storm the Prime Minister’s office. Photo by Tiziana FABI / AFP

There were other protests in the northern city of Milan and in Cesena, central Italy.

Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s office released statement condemning “the violence that took place today in various Italian cities” and said the government “continues its commitment to complete the vaccination campaign against Covid-19”.

READ ALSO: Italy’s vaccination campaign slows as ‘green pass effect’ fails to materialise

A baby doll impaled with syringes is held up during a protest against the 'green pass' in Rome

A baby doll impaled with syringes is held up during a protest against the ‘green pass’ in Rome Photo by Tiziana FABI / AFP

Three weeks ago the government announced that the green pass scheme would be extended to all places of work from October 15 and any employees refusing to comply faced suspension without pay.

READ ALSO: How Italy will enforce the new ‘green pass’ rules in all workplaces

The green pass system is already in place for all medical workers and those working in schools. It requires people to provide a certificate of vaccination, proof of recovery from Covid-19 or a recent negative test result.

Protesters shout abuse during clashes with police in Rome.

Protesters shout abuse during clashes with police. A number of far right groups were present. Photo by Tiziana FABI / AFP

A protester protects herself from tear gas smoke during clashes in the street. Photo by Tiziana FABI / AFP

Nearly 80 percent of the over-12s in Italy have been fully vaccinated, according to government statistics.

The first European country to feel the full force of the pandemic, Italy has so suffered more than 130,000 deaths.

Riot police vehicles front of Palazzo Chigi, which houses the prime minister’s office, as protesters tried to reach the building. Photo by Tiziana FABI / AFP.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

COVID-19 RULES

Italy lifts mask mandate for private sector workers

Masks will no longer be required in the workplace but Italian companies will have the right to impose restrictions for employees deemed "at risk".

Italy lifts mask mandate for private sector workers

Representatives from the Italian Ministry of Labour, Ministry of Health and all major national unions collectively signed off on Thursday a new “shared protocol” (protocollo condiviso) for the implementation of anti-Covid measures in private workplaces. 

Although the full text of the bill will only be made available to the public sometime next week, portions of the document have already been released to the media, thus disclosing the government’s next steps in the fight against the virus.

The most relevant update concerns face masks, which will no longer be mandatory in private workplaces. 

However, the text specifies, FFP2 face masks remain “an important protective item aimed at safeguarding workers’ health”. As such, employers will have the right to autonomously impose the use of face coverings on categories of workers considered “at risk”.

READ ALSO: Italy’s transport mask rule extended to September as Covid rate rises

Notably, face coverings may remain mandatory for those working in “indoor settings shared by multiple employees” or even in “outdoor settings where social distancing may not be practicable”. Individuals with pre-existing medical conditions (soggetti fragili) may also be subject to such rules, which, it is worth reminding, are left to the employer’s discretion. 

Alongside mask-related restrictions, employers will also have the right to have their staff undergo temperature checks prior to entering the workplace. In such cases, anyone with a body temperature higher than 37.5C will be denied access to the workplace and will be asked to temporarily self-isolate pending further indications from their own doctor.

In line with previous measures, companies will be required to continue supplying sanitising products free of charge and regulate access to common areas (canteens, smoking areas, etc.) so as to avoid gatherings.

Additionally, employers will be advised to keep incentivising smart working (lavoro agile), as it has proved to be “a valuable tool to curb infection, especially for at-risk individuals”.

Provided that the country’s infection curve registers no significant changes, the updated protocol will remain in place until October 31st, when it will yet again be reviewed by the relevant governmental and social parties. 

With the latest round of measures, Italy has now scrapped all Covid-related health measures, except the requirement to wear face masks on public transport (though not on planes) and in healthcare settings, and self-isolation provisions for those testing positive. 

READ ALSO: At a glance: What are the Covid-19 rules in Italy now?

Italy’s infection curve has been rising significantly since the beginning of June. From June 1st to June 14th, Covid’s R (spreading rate) rate rose back over 1 for the first time since April 8th. Also, from June 17th to June 23rd, the virus’s incidence rate was 504 cases every 100,000 residents, up by 62 per cent on the previous week.

According to Claudio Mastroianni, Professor of Infectious Diseases at Sapienza University of Rome, “with 25 per cent of daily Covid swabs coming back positive and a R rate over 1, the infection curve will likely rise at least until mid-July”.

However, albeit acknowledging the rising number of positive cases, Deputy Health Minister Andrea Costa has so far categorically excluded the possibility of re-introducing lapsed Covid measures, saying that it’ll be a “restriction-free summer”.

SHOW COMMENTS