Italy is the first western country in which it is required to be vaccinated to go to work.
The Italian government approved this Thursday a decree that makes it mandatory for all workers to have a “green pass” the covid certificate, which shows that someone has received at least one dose of the vaccine or has had the disease.
If they do not agree to be vaccinated, the worker will have to undergo a diagnostic test – which must be negative – every two days, and which will be reflected in the “green pass”.
The measure is a novelty in Europe and is a one of the strictest in the world. Tajikistan and Turkmenistan are among the few examples where vaccination is mandatory for citizens over 18 years of age.
In the United States, for example, vaccination is mandatory for public employees and workers in large companies.
But in Italy the measure affects all workplaces and employees in all sectors – both public and private – including the self-employed. Only the self-employed who work at home were left out.
The measure, which will come into force on October 15th, aims to boost vaccinations in a country that has been severely affected by the virus.
Those who do not present the certificate or carry a forgery will face fines of up to 1,500 euros (about US $ 1,760).
They can also face temporary suspension of employment and salary, although this does not mean that they can be fired, according to the Minister of Labor, Andrea Orlando.
“The goal is to increase workplace safety,” Orlando added.
The green certificate, valid both in digital and paper format, is already necessary to access Italian train stations, cinemas, restaurants, gyms and swimming pools, as well as for school workers.
In announcing the decision, Health Minister Roberto Speranza said the new regulations would improve safety. “And” they will further strengthen our vaccination campaign, “he added.
“The implementation of a pass like the one we are putting into effect with this decree, we are sure, will help us to promote this vaccination campaign,” he said.
Italians have widely supported the government’s vaccination campaign and those who oppose inoculation are a minority.
Almost the 65% of Italians are already fully vaccinated, but infections have increased, driven by the delta variant.
Italy has recorded more than 4.6 million covid-19 cases and more than 130,000 coronavirus-related deaths since the start of the pandemic, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
The green pass was initially introduced to facilitate mobility within de la Union Europea, and since then several countries have introduced requirements for people to show the certificate for different reasons.
France requires it to access restaurants, bars, planes and trains, while Austria and Cyprus are among other EU countries that use similar schemes.
The Italian Minister of Public Administrations, Renato Bruneta, explained that “Italy is at the forefront in the world” with this decision, which seeks to allow the country to face the winter in better security conditions to avoid new closures due to the pandemic.
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