Workers in Rome protest health pass requirement at workplacestext_fields
The Italian government's decision to extend the provisions of the Covid-19 health pass system in workplaces has led to protests in the city from thousands, including members of far-right political parties. Thousands marched in a pre-approved protest and police had to resort to water cannons and tear gas on a group that broke away from the main procession and tried to march to parliament.
The health pass system requires a certificate of vaccination, proof of recovery from Covid-19 or a recent negative test result in order to work, enter museums and other public places. Detractors say the government's move is to absolve itself of any potential side effects of mandatory vaccination while undue pressure on the workers. They also say it violates European Union regulations barring discrimination against the unvaccinated.
Several protestors have already been arrested.
Prime Minister Mario Draghi announced that the scheme would be extended to all places of work from October 15 and any employees refusing to comply faced suspension without pay. Vaccine skeptics and others have regularly protested Italy's lockdown measures and health pass system in the previous year, alleging that it was a violation of constitutional freedoms.
The only other country in the world to have made a COVID-19 passport compulsory for all workers is Saudi Arabia. Several other European countries have also made COVID-19 health passes mandatory to enter public venues such as restaurants, bars, museums, cinemas, and theaters. Greece tests unvaccinated workers now in both public and private sectors.