Unvaccinated residents of smaller Italian islands claim they are prisoners of the Super Green Pass.
Italy's latest covid restrictions, which came into force on 10 January, have sparked demonstrations on several Italian islands including Elba and Ischia.
The government has expanded the scope of the Super Green Pass - which can only be obtained by vaccination or recovery from covid-19 - making it a requirement for all forms of public transport in Italy.
The new rules primarily affect commuters on buses, trains and subways but they also include ferries - a vital link to the mainland for those living on Italy's smaller islands.
Under the banner "Islanders yes, Isolated never", island inhabitants protested in their ports on Monday, reports news agency ANSA, claiming the Super Green Pass rules are restricting the movement of those who are not vaccinated.
Protests were held on Elba, Giglio, San Pietro, Ischia, La Maddalena and the Aeolian Islands, calling on the government to make an exception for islanders by reverting to the "basic" Green Pass (which can also be obtained by a negative covid test result) for public transport.
Organisers of the protests say they are not part of the "No Vax" movement but rather they are sending an "SOS" to avoid being confined, ANSA reports.
Salvatore Puggioni, mayor of Carloforte on the San Pietro island off Sardinia, explained: "To move on dry land there are alternative ways to get around, we, to reach the mother island, cannot avoid the ferry and get there by swimming."
On Monday police in Rome began issuing fines of €400 to people caught travelling on the city's public transport network without a Super Green Pass.
For official information about the covid-19 situation in Italy (in English) see the health ministry website. Photo credit: Giongi63 / Shutterstock.com.
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