Trieste will no longer allow protests in town square after surge in COVID-19 cases

The city has been at the centre of national demonstrations opposing Italy’s decision to make COVID-19 health passes mandatory for all workers for the past month. [EPA-EFE / PAOLO GIOVANNINI]

The city has been at the centre of national demonstrations opposing Italy’s decision to make COVID-19 health passes mandatory for all workers for the past month. Each demonstration so far has been followed by a spike in new cases in the city.

No protests will be allowed in Trieste’s Piazza Unità d’Italia until 31 December,  the head of the police in the north-eastern city, Prefect Valerio Valenti, has announced.

Trieste currently has the highest weekly COVID-19 incidence in the country with 283 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, while every other big Italian city has under 100 cases per 100,000.

According to local doctors, at least 93 people caught the virus after recent protests where social distancing was not respected, and most people did not wear masks. One of them was former far-right city councillor Fabio Tuiach, who claimed to have caught COVID from “fire hydrants”.

“In piazza Unità d’Italia, which has always been considered available to all, the right to demonstrate will be momentarily suppressed. It will not be the setting of further events until 31 December,” Valenti announced. “When balancing interests, in my opinion, the right to health prevails over the right to demonstrate,” he added.

(Viola Stefanello | EURACTIV.it)

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