ROME — Protests have erupted in Italy as a new anti-coronavirus regulation took effect requiring all workers to show a health pass to get into their places of employment.
Police were out in force, schools planned to end classes early, and embassies issued warnings of possible violence on Friday amid concerns that anti-vaccination demonstrations could turn violent, as they previously did in Rome.
The so-called “green pass” shows proof of vaccination, a recent negative test or of having recovered from COVID-19 in the past six months. Italy already requires it to access all sorts of indoor activities for weeks, including dining indoors, visiting museums and theaters and on long-distance trains.
As of Friday, all workers, from business executives to bartenders, must show a pass to go to work.
Not even the Vatican was spared: Three Swiss Guards quit, and another three were suspended after they refused to get vaccinated before the Vatican’s green pass requirement went into effect.
The workplace requirement has sparked heated debate and opposition in a country that was the first in the West to experience a critical COVID-19 outbreak and where vaccination rates are among the highest in Europe.
Opponents say the workplace requirement infringes on their rights.