Italy's covid Green Pass also now required on long-distance transport.
Teachers and staff in Italy's schools and universities, as well as college students, are now obliged to have the covid 'Green Pass' under new rules that come into force on 1 September.
The scope of Italy's Green Pass - a certificate showing that people have been vaccinated, tested negative or recoverred from covid-19 - has been expanded to the education and transport sectors as of today.
The government has warned there will be penalties for school and university employees who fail to comply with the new rules, similar to the system already in place for doctors and nurses.
After five days off work due to not having the Green Pass, employees' absence will be regarded as "unjustified", leading to the suspension of their employment and pay.
Unvaccinated employees can enter school or university property but only if they undergo a covid test every 48 hours.
As the new academic year begins and students return to the classroom over the coming weeks, the previous coronavirus protocols - including masks for kids over the age of six, staggered entry times, temperature checks and distancing - are set to remain in place.
Students, however, are not required to have the Green Pass which in any case does not apply to children aged under 12.
A more contentious aspect of the new Green Rules, also taking effect from 1 September, concerns transport.
The pass is now required to board Intercity and high-speed trains, as well as domestic flights, long-distance buses and inter-regional ferries.
The Green Pass will not be mandatory for local public transport networks or for regional trains.
The new travel rules have prompted 'No Green Pass' and 'No Vax' protesters to organise demonstrations, planned in train stations across Italy on Wednesday, leading transport unions to call for a "security plan" for staff and commuters.
The threatened disruption comes amid rising tensions over Italy's Green Pass which was first introduced in June and whose scope has been widened steadily over the summer.
As of 6 August the pass is required to dine indoors in restaurants as well as for access to a range of cultural and leisure activities, from theatres and cinemas to swimming pools and gyms.
For those who still need assistance, there is a call centre, tel. 800 91 24 91 (open daily 08.00-20.00) and an email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
For official information about the covid-19 situation in Italy - in English - see health ministry website.
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