Italy extends Covid certificate to schools, public transport

Rome, Sep 1 (EFE).- Italy enforced Wednesday the requirement to carry a Covid-19 health certificate to access schools and public transport including trains, ships and planes.

The new rule has sparked a wave of protests across the country, with teachers protesting in front of the Ministry of Education building in Rome this week and anti-vaccine protesters threatening to block over 50 railway stations across Italy.

Protests turned violent in recent days with demonstrators attacking journalists and sending death threats to politicians.

The infectious disease expert Matteo Bassetti was insulted by a man on the street near his house and a reporter from La Repubblica newspaper was assaulted at an anti health pass demonstration.

Italy’s foreign minister, Luigi Di Maio, received several death threats on social media for leading what anti-vaccine activists call a “Covid dictatorship.”

The anti-government Telegram group has over 40,000 members.

Di Maio said the “hateful crime” against the vaccination campaign was unacceptable.

After the Interior Ministry announced a zero-tolerance policy to anti-vaccine demonstrations and said it would take legal action against people involved in unrest, many protesters were scared away, resulting in many of the expected large demonstrations turning up empty.

Instead, passengers at Rome’s Termini central station went on business as usual, some skeptical but others aligned with the new health protocol.

“I don’t know if it’s that useful. I keep my distance, I have the certificate, I have been vaccinated, but the others I don’t know,” said Antonella.

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