Confindustria gives approval to extension of Green Pass but says state must pay for workers' covid tests.
The scope of Italy's covid Green Pass "will soon be extended", the health minister Roberto Speranza said last night, as part of efforts to "strengthen the vaccination campaign."
The move comes amid ongoing discussions between the government and trade union leaders over extending the requirements of the Green Pass to the workplace, reports news agency ANSA.
What is the Green Pass?
The Green Pass is a digital certificate showing that people have been vaccinated, tested negative or recovered from covid-19, and is required for dining indoors in restaurants, long-distance travel and a host of cultural and leisure activities in Italy.
Green Pass in the workplace
The mandatory Green Pass for public sector employees and workers in sectors where it is already obliged for customers will come into effect in early October, according to Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, which identifies "restaurateurs, managers of gyms and swimming pools, long-distance transport operators" as the "first to have to comply" with the new rules currently being fine-tuned.
Italy's minister for public administration Renato Brunetta confirmed that the government is working to make the Green Pass mandatory for public employees, telling state broadcaster RAI News24: "The Green Pass is a license for freedom", adding that he would like to see the obligation extended to "the whole world of work, both public and private."
Carlo Bonomi, president of Confindustria (the main association representing Italy's manufacturing and service companies) gave his approval to making the Green Pass compulsory in the workplace but said the cost of covid testing must be borne by the state, not workers or businesses.
This view was also expressed by the leaders of the Cgil, Cisl and Uil trade unions, who stipulated however that the move must not result in the firing of any employee, "even those who do not take the covid test," reports Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore.
The government is not expected to extend the Green Pass requirement for users of local public transport networks, however, due to the logistical difficulties involved in checking commuters.
Schools and universities
Teachers and staff in Italy's schools and universities, as well as college students, are obliged to have the Green Pass under new rules that came into force on 1 September.
Third dose of covid vaccine
Seperately, Minister Speranza confirmed last night that "the third dose will take place in Italy, we will start as early as September with fragile patients such as cancer patients or transplant recipients" before deciding to continue with the over-80s as well as residents and staff of nursing homes.
G20 Pact of Rome
Speranza was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the meeting between G20 health ministers in Rome on Monday. Italy holds the presidency of the G20, or group of 20 rich countries, this year.
At the end of the two-day summit ministers unanimously approved the 'Pact of Rome' which included a political agreement to increase support for poor nations and send them more coronavirus vaccines, Reuters reports.
The eventual prospect of compulsory vaccination in Italy is also being discussed by the government.
Italy's deputy health minister Pierpaolo Sileri told Corriere della Sera on Sunday that the move must be kept as a "last resort" but warned that there are "3.7 million Italians over 50 who are not yet vaccinated."
Details about the Green Pass can be found - in Italian - on the Certificazione Verde website while for official information about the covid-19 situation in Italy - in English - see the health ministry website.
Photo credit: MikeDotta / Shutterstock.com.
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