Italian senator suspended without pay for refusing to show health card for COVID-19

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An Italian politician has been suspended without pay for entering the country’s Senate without a COVID-19 health card.

Laura Granato – a senator from the small group L’alternativa c’รจ (“There is an alternative”) – will have her salary withheld throughout her 10-day suspension.

She had refused to show her digital health card on Tuesday when she attended a meeting about the passport itself.

A bailiff at the Palazzo Madama had allowed Granato to enter on Tuesday afternoon for the constitutional meeting.

But the incident was reported to the Senate Speaker, who decided to sanction her.

Granato is not allowed to enter the Italian parliament building or participate in its work, Senate President Maria Elisabetta Alberti Casellati announced.

Since Friday, employees at all Italian workplaces have been demanding a health card to prove that they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have recently recovered or tested negative for the virus.

Employees who refuse to comply with the new regulation risk suspending pay and additional fines.

Granato – whose party was formed by dissidents in the 5-star movement (M5S) – has opposed the new measures, despite warnings from officials.

“The health card is a certificate of obedience,” she told reporters outside the Senate after her suspension was announced.

Although more than 85% of Italians over the age of 12 have received at least one dose of the vaccine, it is estimated that around three million workers are not vaccinated.

The decision to make COVID-19 health agreements mandatory has also led to many protests throughout Italy.

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