After restaurants, museums, gymnasiums and stadiums, a corona certificate is required for large areas of public transport in Italy as of today. Those who want to take a train or a bus between different regions must have been vaccinated or recently tested.
Today, a major protest was expected against the new measure in several cities. But most Italians seem particularly happy about it.
“If were not allowed to take the train without that slave passport, no one leaves,” said on a poster that has been spread over social media over the past few days. The antivax movement had announced to gather tens of thousands at more than 50 stations across the country and disrupt train traffic.
But under the watchful eye of the world press and the massively torn out of order services, there was little or nothing in most of those stations this afternoon.
Giovanna, a woman of around 50 who is on his way to Milan, disagrees with the supporters of the anti-vax movement. “I think they are too little informed, or ill-informed. But this is the only way to tackle the health crisis.”
32-year-old Antonio, on the way to a city just outside Rome, agrees. “People who dont get vaccinated are partly responsible for it when the weather goes wrong.” Both had the green pass as the corona check app is called in Italy, already downloaded last month.
Although todays demonstrations barely got off the ground, the tone of the corona debate in Italy has hardened considerably over the last week. Two journalists were physically attacked in protests. In chat groups, such as Telegram, the phone numbers and addresses of well-known doctors and politicians who have spoken in favour of vaccination policy.
About Foreign Minister Luigi di Maio was told in one of those groups that he “had to create” or even “executed”.
But even though the impending language of the antivax movement in Italian media gets a lot of attention, all in all, resistance to the corona vaccine in the country is low. Ipsos statistics agency estimated that 7 percent of Italians absolutely refuse to be vaccinated, and 10 percent have strong doubts. On the other hand, about 70 percent of Italians over 12 years of age have been partially or fully vaccinated.
This strengthens Prime Minister Draghis government to take even more substantial action in the future. For a corona vaccination obligation, politically there is no support for the time being, but it is envisaged to make the green pass compulsory for civil servants after care personnel and education personnel as well.
“That doesnt go too far for me,” says traveler Giovanna at the station. “The government is taking this direction for the well-being of everyone. Of course, it takes away some of our freedom. But after a year and a half of lockdown, where we couldnt do anything, they do this to help us. For me, this is helping and being helped.”
Italians who find government measures go too far, according to polls about 24 percent, there is no other option but to go to the streets anyway. “Today may have failed, we dont give up,” someone writes in a chat group on Telegram.
A new protest is scheduled for Saturday.