Protesters take part in a demonstration in Milan on July 24, 2021, against the introduction of a mandatory 'green pass' for indoor dining and entertainment area, in the aim to limit the spread of the COVID-19. Photograph:( AFP )
From August 6, visitors to cinemas, museums, pools, or sports stadiums, or dining at restaurants indoors need Green Passes
As Rome tries to rein in COVID-19 infections, tens of thousands of protesters in cities across Italy demonstrated on Saturday against the government's decision to place restrictions on unvaccinated people.
An overwhelming majority of protestors were without masks.
As per the new regulations, starting August 6, those entering cinemas, museums, indoor swimming pools, or sports stadiums, or eating at restaurants indoors, will need a Green Pass.
The pass will serve as proof that the bearer has been vaccinated, has recently undergone a negative COVID-19 test, or has recently recovered from a Coronavirus infection.
According to Francesco Figliuolo, emergency chief for COVID-19, the announcement made on Thursday making the pass mandatory for many activities, lead to a 200 per cent increase in vaccine bookings in Italy's smaller regions.
As the cabinet aims to safeguard the slowing economy and prevent further lockdowns, businesses are expected to enforce the rules or face stiff fines.
An evaluation of whether the pass should be made mandatory for train, coach, and plane travel will take place in September.
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"Better to die free than live like slaves!" read one placard held up outside Milan's Gothic cathedral, while another in Rome's historic centre read "Vaccines set you free" over a picture of the gates to Auschwitz.
Several protesters in Genova have yellow Star of David badges proclaiming that they haven't been vaccinated.
Through social media, more than 80 cities had announced that they were holding demonstrations on Saturday.
Faced with the threat of Delta variant, on Saturday, Italy one of the worst-hit countries in Europe during this pandemic, reported five thousand new coronavirus cases and five deaths.
(With inputs from agencies)