Italy ports blocked covid pass protest
© Reuters / Massimo Pinca
Port workers gather outside the entrance to protest against the implementation of the COVID-19 health pass, the Green Pass, in the workplace, in Genoa, Italy, October 15, 2021.
Hundreds of people have gathered at Italian ports protesting the requirement for all workers to show Covid-19 health passes, which has now come into force. Failure to comply could result in suspension from the workplace and fines.

On Friday, around 300 protesters blockaded an entrance to the port of Genoa in Northwest Italy in opposition to the so-called 'green passes', which require both private and public workers to prove that they are either vaccinated, have tested negative for Covid, or have recently recovered from the virus.

If workers cannot produce a green pass within a grace period of five days, they will be suspended without pay and could face a fine of up to €1,500 ($1,730) should they dare to work on regardless.

Footage uploaded to Twitter showed a large gathering of people in high-visibility jackets in protest against the measure and signs saying "No green pass."

Meanwhile, in Trieste in the northeast, some labor groups threatened to block operations indefinitely in defiance against the mandate, with crowds of hundreds demonstrating at the city's major port.

Videos on Twitter showed swathes of people congregating and blockading the gateway of Trieste's port. On the eve of the pass taking effect, a crowd of people gathered in front of a worker who called for them to "strike to the bitter end... until the health passport requirement is eliminated."
Trieste 14 ottobre 2021 ore 19. Lavoratori del porto: "Sciopero ad oltranza da questa sera a mezzanotte. Continuerà fino a quando non sarà eliminato l'obbligo del passaporto sanitario per lavorare!" Trieste chiama, Genova risponde: "Porto di Genova in sciopero da domani mattina!"

— RadioGenova (@RadioGenova) October 14, 2021
"Trieste 14 October 2021 7 pm Port workers: "Strike to the bitter end from tonight to midnight. It will continue until the health passport requirement to work is eliminated!" Trieste calls, Genoa replies: "Port of Genoa on strike from tomorrow morning!" "

[Ed. note: This tweet is no longer available]

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi's government approved the mandate - one of the world's strictest anti-Covid measures - in mid-September. Rome first made the health certificate necessary to visit public venues, such as restaurants and bars. In September it became mandatory for teachers and other public sector workers to come forward and get jabbed.

The ever-tightening pass has spurred several protests in Italy. Last month, Italian police warned of planned armed attacks by anti-vaxxers ahead of a rally in Rome, with reports in local media that they were planning to use weapons and DIY explosives. Eight people were investigated for incitement to crime.