The government of Italy prepares a decree that obliges all workers, both in the public and private sectors, to present the covid passport, official media reported.
The measure must be approved this Thursday by the Council of Ministers and must enter into force in mid-October.
“The government is ready to introduce the health passport. We are heading towards a mandatory measure for the public and private sector”, declared the Minister of Regional Affairs, Mariastella Gelmini, to the public radio station RaiRadio1.
As of October 15, the so-called “Green passport” will be compulsory in all workplaces, which is why retirees, housewives and the unemployed are excluded, the Italian media specified.
The objective of the measure is to increase the rate of vaccinated before the onset of winter and prevent the spread of contagion.
Currently almost 75% of the population over twelve years of age is vaccinated, that is, 40.46 million people.
“The vaccine is our only weapon against covid,” subrayó Mariastella Gelmini.
Italy was the first country in Europe affected by the pandemic that has caused the death of 130,000 people in that country, in addition to generating the most serious postwar economic recession in 2020.
The decision to generalize the health passport is the result of long discussions between the government, the political parties that make up the national coalition in power, and the social partners, trade unions and businessmen.
According to the media, the absence of a health passport will be severely punished but without going to dismissal.
A fine of between $470 to $1,176 could be imposed for those who do not comply with that obligation, according to the newspaper Il Corriere della Sera.
After five days of unjustified absence due to lack of a health passport, the person can be “suspended” from work and salary.
There is also debate about the tests that unvaccinated people must undergo to obtain a health passport.
The unions demand that the state pay them while the government fears that this possibility will discourage the idea of getting vaccinated.
Italy is not the first European country to adopt this measure. In Greece, since September 13, unvaccinated public and private sector employees have to undergo tests at their expense once or twice a week, depending on the profession.
The health passport is mandatory in Italy in public places, as well as in cafes, restaurants, museums, cinemas, theaters, trains, buses, metro and taxis.