Western Europe

Watch thousands of Italians protest against health pass, clash with police

16:18, 10 October 2021
Watch thousands of Italians protest against health pass, clash with police Photo: Elisa Bianchini/Keystone Press Agency/Global Look Press

Initially imposed on indoor and entertaining activities, the pass requirement has been later extended to jobs with the possibility to suspend unvaccinated workers.

Thousands of demonstrators gathered in the streets of Italian cities to hold protests against the extension of the anti-COVID health pass.

More than 10,000 people protested against the measure on Saturday, while some organizations claim that up to 30,000 Italians gathered in the streets.

The largest demonstrations were held in Italy’s capital Rome, as well as in Milan and Cesena. Protesters blocked the roads chanting “Freedom” and holding banners with “No greenpass” and similar messages.

While the manifestations were quite peaceful in the afternoon, tension rose in the evening and up into the night. Protesters tried to reach the seat of the government and smashed with the police. Officers had to use water cannons, batons, and tear gas to stop the angry crowd.

Italian media report that several protesters have been arrested following the clashes.

Introduced in August, the pass was at first requested to enter museums, sports events, and dining in. In order to get the pass, citizens have to present their vaccination certificate, a negative test, or proof that they have recently recovered from COVID.

Around three weeks ago Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi announced that from October 15 health pass will become compulsory for all jobs, otherwise, employees can see themselves suspended or their salaries frozen. Health pass has earlier been declared mandatory for med staff.

Italy was the first European country to be severely hit by the pandemic. A total of 4.7 mln cases of infections and more than 130,000 deaths have been recorded in the country since the outbreak.

According to Health Ministry’s data, approximately 80% of the population have been fully vaccinated.