Scuffles As Italy’s Lengthy COVID-19 Curbs Spark Small Business Protests
Dozens of small business owners scuffled with police on Tuesday as they tried to force their way into Rome’s parliament square to protest against Italy’s long-running coronavirus restrictions.
“Freedom, freedom,” protesters shouted as police used batons and shields to push them back into an adjacent street. One policeman was injured after he was hit on the head by an object hurled at him from the crowd, local media reported. The government has imposed repeated curbs over the past 14 months to try to contain COVID-19, which has killed more than 111,000 people in Italy, the second worst tally in Europe after Britain.
Last week the cabinet ruled that bars and restaurants could only offer a takeaway service in April, angering many businesses who had hoped to reopen fully as the vaccination campaign picks up speed and case numbers hold relatively steady. Other protests were reported elsewhere in Italy.
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