Fines and suspension: Italy makes health passport mandatory in the workplace

Fines and Suspension
Italy makes health passports compulsory in the workplace

Italy is tightening the Corona rules: every employee must submit a vaccination or test certificate from mid-October, the so-called “green passport”. Anyone who refuses to do so may be suspended and no longer receive a salary.

Italy will require vaccinations or negative corona tests from all employees in the country when they go about their work. From October 15th, all employees are obliged to prove this with the document called “Green Passport” in Italy. Otherwise there is a risk of sanctions. “We are extending the ‘green passport’ obligation to the entire world of work, both in the public and private sectors,” said Health Minister Roberto Speranza at a press conference.

“We are doing this for two main reasons: to make these places safer and to strengthen our vaccination campaign,” said Speranza. In Italy, the “Green Passport” shows whether the holder has been vaccinated against Covid-19, whether he has tested negative in the past 48 hours or whether he has recently recovered from the lung disease. Currently, the pass must already be presented in the interior of restaurants, in cinemas or sports stadiums, on intercity trains, buses and on domestic flights.

There were protests in many places in Italy against the mandatory introduction of the passport. According to media reports, workers who do not present their passports face fines of up to a thousand euros. Anyone who stays away from work because they cannot produce the document can expect to be suspended. In some areas, such as schools, the “green pass” is already compulsory. Employers who do not carry out controls face fines of up to 1500 euros. The new decree will apply from October 15th to December 31st. The Corona emergency still officially applies in Italy until the end of the year. The government’s decision affects “a total of 23 million workers, the entire human capital of the country,” said Administration Minister Renato Brunetta.

De facto, among adults, only pensioners, unemployed people and housewives and housewives are not affected by the passport requirement. Currently around 75 percent of Italians over the age of twelve are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. The government hopes that the passport will give the vaccination campaign a further boost. In Italy, it has been compulsory to have vaccinations for medical professions. According to the national medical association, 728 doctors have since been suspended because they did not get vaccinated.

Draghi pushed through the new decree despite protests from the trade unions and parts of the right-wing parties. In the consultations with the head of government, they unsuccessfully demanded that Covid tests should remain free as an alternative to vaccinations. It shouldn’t be that you have to pay to go to work, they said. Draghi’s cabinet, however, only decided to cap prices: Adults may pay a maximum of 15 euros per test, children 8 euros.

Italy is not alone with the mandatory health passport: In Greece, all unvaccinated workers have had to be tested once or twice a week at their own expense since September 13th. In Slovenia, the health passport became compulsory for all employees on Wednesday. Italy was the first country in Europe to be affected by the corona pandemic; more than 130,000 people died there in connection with a coronavirus infection. Last year, Italy experienced its worst recession since World War II as a result of the pandemic.

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