Hundreds of Croatians protested on Thursday (11 November) for the fourth day in Zagreb and other cities against obligatory certificates for the public sector as the country’s COVID-19 cases hit a record high.
Earlier this month the authorities introduced more restrictive measures to fight the record surge of coronavirus infections since the start of the pandemic with some of Europe’s lowest inoculation rates.
Starting on Monday, all public sector employees and people visiting public institutions will need certificates.
So far, the measure was obligatory for health and social welfare sectors only.
On Thursday, several hundred people gathered in front of the government offices and outside parliament in central Zagreb.
Protests in Croatia against COVID mandates. pic.twitter.com/EBAJgZh4Bs
— Aaron Ginn (@aginnt) November 11, 2021
Some of them carried lanterns and others banners that read “Unvaccinated should not be fired” or “Freedom of choice”.
The protests, organised through social networks, have been held daily since Monday in about 30 cities and small towns.
Bikers protest vaxx mandates in Croatia tonight. pic.twitter.com/boNCl2xC9n
— Aaron Ginn (@aginnt) November 12, 2021
“We should have done this last year when masks were introduced,” a woman lamented on Facebook of the Vigilare group that organised the gatherings.
“I don’t wear a mask and will not get vaccinated even if I remain the only one on the planet… I don’t need that evil in my body,” she wrote.
On Wednesday, Croatia recorded its highest number of daily infections – with 7,315 people testing positive in 24 hours.
Just around 45 percent of the country’s 4.2 million people have been fully vaccinated, according to AFP data.
Within the European Union, only Bulgaria and Romania have lower vaccination rates.
Since the start of the pandemic, more than 9,700 people have died of the respiratory disease in Croatia.