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What are Italy’s new Green Pass rules for workers?

23 million Italians will be affected when the new Green Pass rules come into force on 15 October.

All workers in Italy will be required to have a Green Pass from Friday 15 October, under contentious new restrictions being ushered in by the Italian government.

The Green Pass is a digital or paper certificate showing that people have been vaccinated, tested negative or recovered from covid-19.

What are Italy's new Green Pass rules?

From this Friday the Green Pass will be compulsory for all workers - in both the public and private sectors - affecting around 23 million people.

Those caught violating the new rules will face hefty fines or suspension without pay, however nobody can be fired for not having the health certificate.

Those who do not have the Green Pass are not permitted to enter their workplace, with every day they miss as a result regarded as "unjustified" absence.

After five days off work, employees will be suspended and have their pay frozen, with this time off not counted for pension contributions or accrued for holidays.

Unvaccinated employees can still enter the workplace but only if they undergo a covid test every 48 hours, at their own expense, with a fixed cost of €15.

Green Pass penalties

Those who go to work without a Green Pass risk fines of between €600 and €1,500.

Employers are responsible for ensuring that their staff have the Green Pass and have been equipped with an app for this purpose by the government.

Managers and employers are required to carry out checks, on a daily basis, on at least 20 per cent of their workforce.

Businesses who fail to carry out checks risk fines of between €400 and €1,000.

The only workers not required to have the Green Pass are those who have a medical certification that exempts them from being vaccinated.

The Green Pass obligation for workers will be in force until 31 December, when Italy's covid state of emergency expires, after which its scope may be revised.

Opposition to Green Pass

Critics say that extending the Green Pass requirements to all workers amounts to forced vaccination by the back door however premier Mario Draghi says the move is designed to help Italy to "continue to open up."

Protests over Italy's Green Pass had begun to fizzle out over the summer however there are renewed tensions in recent weeks, with violent clashes in Rome last weekend as well as threats of protests and strikes on 15 October.

Pharmacies are also coming under pressure to cope with a surge in bookings for covid tests.

When the government announced the measures a month ago Italy saw an initial surge in vaccination bookings however the campaign has since slowed down, with the desired "Green Pass effect" failing to materialise.

Italy's vaccination campaign

The scope of the Green Pass continues to be extended in a bid to boost Italy's vaccination campaign as the country recently hit its target of fully vaccinating 80 per cent of the population over the age of 12 against covid-19.

There are currently 43.2 million people in Italy fully vaccinated against covid, with around 8 million who have yet to receive even the first dose.

What is Italy's Green Pass?

Italy's Green Pass, or certificazione verde, was first introduced in June and was used originally for travel within the EU and to facilitate access to large events such as weddings or to visit nursing homes.

However over the summer the scope of the Green Pass - which does not apply to children under 12 - was expanded progressively, and has been updated several times.

The pass is currently required for indoor dining in restaurants, long-distance domestic travel, a host of cultural, leisure and social activities - such as museums, swimming pools nightclubs - as well as in certain workplace environments including schools and universities.

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: Adnkronos

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