COVID -19 health cards – or “green passports” – are now mandatory for all workers in Italy.
The rule was approved by Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s cabinet in mid-September, forcing all workers to show either evidence of vaccination, a negative test within the previous 48 hours or a recent recovery from infection.
Italy is one of the few countries that has made the passport a requirement to enter places such as restaurants, cafes, gyms and museums.
It was hoped that the passport would encourage unvaccinated Italians to get the job, with Public Administration Minister Renato Brunetta predicting such a “huge” acceleration of vaccinations that the goal of the passport could largely be achieved before it actually took effect.
The certification applies to public and private workplaces, which have previously been rolled out for leisure activities and public transport.
According to a government document seen by the news agency Reuters, 15% of private and 8% of public workers do not have a green passport.
But under the new rules, they can be suspended without pay and fines if they work without it – a move that has been criticized by some.
Luca Zaia, the league’s right-wing league governor, said: “We will not be able to grant a stick every 48 hours to everyone. the unvaccinated.
“The businessmen I have contact with are extremely worried.”
The UIL union said in a statement: “This is a very restrictive measure that could have a serious impact on social stability and exacerbate an already complicated situation.”
Trade unions said tests should be free for workers who do not want to be vaccinated, but the government said they would be limited to 15 euros.
However, many employers’ unions supported the passport in the hope that it would prevent future suspensions.
Last week, thousands of people protested against the passage in Rome.
Use the Chrome browser for a more accessible video player
Italy: A Coronavirus Nation’s Journey
At least one person was injured, according to Rai State TV, with police spraying water and swinging batons to ward off protesters.
Italy has recorded 4.71 million cases of COVID -19 and 131,000 deaths – the second highest number of deaths in Europe after the United Kingdom.
As of October 13, 41.9 million (70.4%) people have been fully vaccinated.
In the UK, the government rowed back on plans to introduce a vaccine certificate system for access to large and cramped places such as nightclubs, but has kept the option on the table as part of its “Plan B” for the winter.
Nursing home workers are also coming must be fully vaccinated by 11 November, and Health Secretary Sajid Javid has said that the requirement “will most likely” be extended to all frontline NHS staff.
Last month, the French government said about 3,000 workers in hospitals, nursing homes and health centers have been closed because they have not followed the mandatory COVID vaccination.