Under a decree adopted by Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s government, Italian workers in both public and private sectors will have to display a health pass to access their work place. This is the first instance in which a major European economy adopts such measures, including a recent negative virus test or recovery from COVID-19 in the previous six months for all workers. Health Minister Roberto Speranza described the green pass as an instrument of freedom which will make workplaces safer.
The measures will also, as Italian authorities are hoping, encourage the vaccine campaign. Italy’s 2 trillion Euro economy is the third largest in the European Union and the measure underscores the determination by the government to avoid another lockdown. This comes as the number of cases seems to be shooting up, mostly among the unvaccinated.
Workers face fines of up to €1,500 and employers up to €1000 if they do not comply with these regulations. Public sector employees may even risk suspension if they rack up five absences of a Green Pass. Private sector workers can be suspended after their first failure to do so. These measures will remain in effect as long as Italy is in a state of emergency (with this forecasted to last until December 31st).
Italy surpassed the amount of 80% of eligible population having received at least one dose of the vaccine this month. Three quarters of the population, some 40.5 million people, have been fully inoculated. The Green Pass requirement covers 14.7 million private sector workers and 3.2 million in state-supported jobs.
Photo Source: USNews, BBC