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Protests and blockades greet new Italy Covid rules

Hundreds at the port of Trieste, a major hub in the northeast

15 October, 12:04
(ANSA-AFP) - ROME, OCT 15 - Protesters gathered at Italian ports on Friday as the country braced for widespread disruption over new coronavirus requirements for workers. Roughly 300 people blocked an entrance to the port of Genoa in the northwest, causing delays in what was feared to be the start of a day of blockades and demonstrations. Hundreds also demonstrated at the port of Trieste, a major hub in the northeast, but regional chief Massimiliano Fedriga insisted "the port is working". From Friday, all workers must show a so-called Green Pass offering proof of vaccination, recent recovery from Covid-19 or a negative test -- or face being declared absent without pay. More than 86 percent of Italians over the age of 12 have received at least one jab, thus automatically qualifying for the certification. But up to three million workers are estimated to be unvaccinated -- and most will only be able to work if they pay for their own tests either every 48 or 72 hours, depending on the type. Ivano Russo, director general of trade group Confetra, told AFP that out of a total of 900,000 truck drivers, couriers and warehouse staff employed by members of his lobby, "25-30 percent" do not have Covid certificates.

Dock workers in Trieste have threatened to go on strike indefinitely, despite being offered free Covid tests. In Genoa, the small blockade was peaceful early Friday, according to an AFP journalist, although some truck drivers reported delays.


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