ROME – As there were more police officers in train stations across the country than protesters, plans for anti-coronavirus vaccine activists to shut down Italian rail travel fell through on Wednesday. The Italian government has advanced its plan to require a green pass for long-distance travel, which became mandatory on Wednesday.
The Italian authorities stated that they insist that the country needs to take all measures to reduce the number of new COVID-19 infections.
The green pass requires a dose of COVID vaccine or a negative test before boarding high-speed trains, domestic flights, inter-regional buses, and most ferries, and the pass has become mandatory on September 1.
On Wednesday, anti-vaccine protesters used social media to call for protests in train stations across the country.
The authorities are trying to change the minds of people like this unidentified woman in Rome, who is one of the 30% of people over 12 years old in Italy who have not been vaccinated.
She told the Italian national television station that she did not agree with the vaccine and did not want to be vaccinated or tested.
Many people who oppose vaccines say that demanding vaccinations violates their personal freedom, and many people say they do not believe that the vaccine has been adequately tested.
However, since the outbreak in the country in February 2020, nearly 130,000 people in the country have died of COVID-19, and most people interviewed at the train station said they were in favor of the decision to require a green card.
The woman who is about to board the high-speed train at Rome station told the Italian national television station that she thinks this is the right approach so that people can travel safely.
Due to the massive deployment of police to avoid service interruption, only a few protesters showed up.
The Italian Minister of the Interior Luciana Lamorgese and other politicians made it clear that violence will not be tolerated, only peaceful protests.
The warning was issued after a series of violent incidents, including personal attacks on journalists who reported on the anti-green pass protests.
In recent days, anti-vaccination activists have also made comments on social media against Italian politicians and doctors in support of the Green Pass. Some people call it an atmosphere of hatred against the COVID-19 vaccination campaign.
Earlier this summer, the government of Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi launched a digital or paper green pass certificate. The goal is to prevent new infections and control the number, and encourage people who have not yet been vaccinated to get vaccinated.
In addition to the travel ban, people without green passes cannot dine indoors in restaurants and cafes, and cannot enter movie theaters, theaters or leisure centers.
The number of new COVID-19 infections per day in Italy is now less than 7,000, but there are concerns that with the spread of delta variants, there may be a new increase in the next few weeks.