Italian lawmakers over the age of 50 require a coronavirus health pass in order to enter the country’s parliament, with some comparing the rules to living under the former Fascist regime.

Senator Mario Giarrusso, a former member of the Five Star Movement (M5S), is 56-years-old and spoke out about unvaccinated politicians being barred from entering parliament, , calling it “the blackest page in the history of the Republic. A page reminiscent of the expulsion from parliament of the opponents of the Fascist regime.”


“Only in the afternoon, however, at the Circus Maximus, I found thousands of citizens who resisted and I did not feel alone. It gave me a lot of courage,” he added, highlighting an anti-health pass protest held in Rome earlier this week, Il Giornale reports.

Senator Emanuele Dessì, also formerly of the M5S, held a protest outside the Madama Palace, which houses the Italian Senate, and stated that he had submitted an appeal to the Senate litigation office over the matter.

“The Senate is not my place of work. Senator is an elective office, not a job. Here not only my freedom is contracting, but also that of the hundreds of thousands of voters who asked me to represent them in those chambers,” Dessì said, adding that “a political emergency, not a health one, is now being practised here.”

The banning of elected parliamentarians from parliament comes as part of the broader bill which mandated vaccination against the Wuhan virus for all Italians over the age of 50 that came into effect earlier this week.

As part of the legislation, only those who have either recovered from the coronavirus or those who are considered fully vaccinated are allowed in certain workplaces.

Matteo Salvini’s populist League (Lega) party, which is part of Italy’s governing coalition, initially opposed the restrictions, arguing that it used ideological, rather than scientific criteria. They will not now leave the government, however, saying they are “satisfied” with having blocked a proposal to ban people without proof of vaccination or recovery from public buildings, banks, post offices, non-essential shops, barbers, and hair salons during negotiations.

Late last month, it was estimated that the mandatory vaccine policy for over 50s could affect as many as 1.8 million Italians who face fines from €600 (£499/$668) to €1,500 (£1,248/$1,671) for going to work while being unvaccinated or without proof of recovery.

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