Protests Over Covid-19 rules in Italy sees Genoa port blocked

Protests in Italy at the country’s recently introduced Covid-19 rules for workers have spread to several of the country’s largest ports, including Genoa, which appeared to be blockaded on Friday October 15th.

Workers at three of the country’s major ports were reported either to be on strike or to be staging protests that demand the government either pay for mandatory testing or drop its “Green Pass” restrictions.

From October 15th workers across Italy have been required to have an electronic pass in order to work. It is necessary to either be vaccinated against the virus, have recovered from the virus during the past six months, or to have taken frequent Covid-19 tests that have come up negative.

The Green Pass was introduced across Italy in June this year in an attempt to encourage increased vaccination rates. People were required to show the electronic pass to enter restaurants, go to the cinema, sporting events, etc. However, now the Italian government has expanded the requirements to most workplaces.

Trade groups such as the truck drivers said that they believed between a quarter and a third of truck drivers remained unvaccinated for Covid-19.

Dockworkers in the port of Trieste announced they were going on strike unless the government delayed the Green Pass requirements. Port officials said that they believed possibly 400 of the nearly 1,000 port workers were currently not vaccinated for the virus. Estimates on the number of port employees in Trieste that went on strike varied widely.

There were reports that the commercial port at Venice, Naples, and Palermo were all operating normally. At the port of Ancona in eastern Italy on the Adriatic port workers reportedly staged a sit-in blocking all traffic from entering the port. In Genoa 300 workers blocked major access points into the port.