The Italian government has approved a plan to make its Covid ‘Green Pass’ certificate mandatory for all workers. The plan, which would see those without the pass put on leave without pay, is set to be implemented next month.
The plan, approved by the country’s government on Thursday, is set to be put into motion on October 15. The Italian Senate overwhelmingly supported the measure, with 189 voting for it, with only 32 against and two abstentions. The plan will remain in force until at least the end of this year.
Under the new rules, all public- and private-sector workers in Italy will have to obtain a Covid-19 ‘Green Pass’ certificate. Those failing to produce the cert when requested can be suspended from their jobs after a grace period of five days, though they cannot be fired.
“We are extending the obligation of the green pass to the entire world of work, public and private, and we are doing so for two essential reasons: to make these places safer and to make our vaccination campaign even stronger,” health minister Roberto Speranza told reporters.
Employees without a valid health certificate who still dare to show up for work can be subjected to major fines, ranging from €600 to €1,500 (some $705 to $1,175). Further details of the plan are expected to be officially unveiled shortly.
Conceived as a tool to document a person’s Covid-19 status and vaccinations to facilitate travel, coronavirus health certs have already been introduced in multiple EU countries. In August, Italy made the pass a requirement to visit public venues, such as restaurants and bars, then making it mandatory for teachers and other public sector workers earlier this month. Now, it has become the first European country to make the certificate mandatory for all of its workforce.
The ever-tightening ‘Green Pass’ rules have sparked multiple protests across Italy. Last week, Italian police claimed that the most radical anti-vaxxers had been seeking to launch armed attacks during the protests, with eight people investigated over incitement to crime.
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