Italy to make health “Green Pass” mandatory for all workers

September 17, 2021
Italy to make health “Green Pass” mandatory for all workers

The Italian government will be enforcing one of the strictest anti-COVID measures in the world on October 15 – making it mandatory for all workers to present a valid test certificate before going into work or be suspended on no pay. These workers, however, cannot be sacked. Those who ignore the decree face a fine of between 600-1,500 euros (approx. US$705-US$1,175); the sanction for employers will be 400-1000 euros.

The new rules were approved unanimously by the cabinet, led by Prime Minister Mario Draghi, in the hopes of persuading people to get inoculated and blunt contagion in one of the countries worst-hit by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19.

Italy has the second highest COVID-19 death toll in Europe, after Britain, with more than 130,000 deaths since the pandemic surfaced early last year. Despite this, only around 68% of its 60-million-strong population are fully vaccinated, and 74% have had at least one vaccine shot. Most of the cases reported in hospitals currently account for unvaccinated people.

Italy’s health foundation Gimbe said in a report recently that the vaccinations had helped reduce deaths in the country by 96.3%, hospitalisations by 93.4%, and intensive care admissions by 95.7%.

The Italian government is right to expect an “enormous” acceleration of jabs simply by the announcement of the decree: while some European states – including Italy – have ordered their health workers to get vaccinated, none have made the so-called “Green Pass” mandatory for all employees.

The Green Pass was originally conceived to ease travel around Europe; Italy was among a group of countries that swiftly also made it a requirement for those wanting to access public venues such as museums, gyms, and indoor dining in restaurants.

Read: Unvaccinated people 11 times more likely to die from COVID-19, CDC Director

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