LJUBLJANA, Slovenia — Hundreds of anti-vaccination protesters hurled flares at the parliament building in the Slovenian capital on Wednesday to protest a new measure that mandates a COVID-19 pass for entering almost any shop, service or a workplace in the country.
Police responded with tear gas and water cannons. There were no immediate reports of injuries.
The small Alpine state has seen a surge in infections with daily cases exceeding 1,300 for two days in a row now, levels last seen in April, while the 14-day incidence per 100,000 population now stands at 533, one of the highest rates in Europe, the state STA news agency reported.
The COVID-19 pass is required for access to almost all services and workplaces and there have been reports throughout the day of store clerks being hassled, the agency reported.
Many complaints by disgruntled customers were targeted at petrol stations after the largest fuel retailer, Petrol, made it mandatory to show the pass — that mandates full vaccination or a COVID-19 test — before people could fill up their tank.
The pass is also mandatory for access to health services, except for emergency care. Community health centers have instituted a strict policy of compliance, while hospitals have offered on-the-spot testing for those who do not have it.