Italy Mandates All Workers to Show COVID-19 ‘Green Pass,’ Prompting Protests

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The Italian government imposed one of the world’s strictest COVID-19 measures on Friday, requiring all workers in Italy to show a COVID-19 “Green Pass” prior to entering their place of employment.

Starting on Oct. 15, the new rule will make it obligatory for employees to show that they have been vaccinated against the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, which causes COVID-19, before returning to their workplaces. A recent negative test or having recovered from COVID-19 in the past six months is also allowed.

Workers who are not in possession of the so-called Green Pass will be suspended without pay and face a fine of between 600 and 1,500 euros ($695 to $1,730) if they try and continue to work.

However, according to provisions of the measure, the mandate stipulates that employees cannot be terminated from their job. The new rule will be effective until the end of the year.

Italy already required people to show such a vaccination passport to gain access to all sorts of indoor environments, including restaurants, museums, theaters, and long-distance trains, prompting demonstrations against the government-imposed restrictions in the country.

Thousands of Italians in opposition to the government mandates took to the streets on Friday, with protesters shouting “Liberta (Freedom)” and calling the move a political, rather than health, regulation.

“The Green Pass is a bad thing, it is discrimination under the law. Nothing more. It’s not a health regulation, it’s just a political move to create division among people,” said Fabio Bocin, a 59-year old worker from Trieste.

The largest demonstrations were at the major northeastern port of Trieste, where labor groups had threatened to block operations, and around 6,000 protesters, some chanting and carrying flares, gathered outside the gates.

In Rome, police in riot gear stood by during a rally where people shouted, “No Green Pass.” Other demonstrations also took place in Turin, Genoa, and Bologna.

By Lorenz Duchamps

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