Italians and Italians who want to work, both in the public and private sectors, must be vaccinated. Mario Draghi’s Council of Ministers approved this Thursday requiring public and private sector employees, including the self-employed, to present the coronavirus health certificate in their jobs. If they do not agree to be vaccinated, the worker will have to undergo a diagnostic test every two days, which will be reflected in the “green pass”. The decree, which will be made public this Thursday, includes among the sanctions the temporary suspension of employment and salary, fines of up to 1,000 euros or, ultimately, disciplinary dismissal. The measure will take effect on October 15 and only considers as exceptions people who telework and who, due to their health, cannot be vaccinated.
The Italian decree will also force to reduce the prices of diagnostic tests. They will be free for those who cannot be vaccinated and will have a price of 8 and 15 euros for minors and adults, respectively.
The certificate, valid digitally or on paper, shows that someone has received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, has passed the disease or has undergone a negative test in the hours prior to showing it, a period that is now extends to 72 hours, from 48 hours before.
The Italian Minister of Public Administrations, Renato Bruneta, explained in the appearance after the meeting that “Italy is at the forefront in the world” with this decision, which seeks to allow the country to face the winter in better security conditions to avoid new closures due to the pandemic.
This “green pass”, as it is called in Italy, is already required for certain circumstances, such as access to the interior of bars and restaurants, gyms, museums or conventions, and will now be required of all public and private sector employees.
The Minister of Regional Affairs, Mariastella Gelmini, explained that the Government of Mario Draghi has also reduced the price of coronavirus tests: they will be free for those who cannot be vaccinated, they will cost 8 euros for those under 18 years of age and 15 euros for the the rest, compared to around 20 euros that they cost now.
Those who do not present the certificate or carry a forgery will face financial fines and even temporary suspension of employment, although this does not mean that they can be fired, said the Minister of Labor, Andrea Orlando. “The goal is to increase safety in the workplace.”
Italy currently has 74.61% of the population over 12 years immunized against the coronavirus, figures similar to those of its neighbors in the European Union.
The application of the vaccination certificate generates tensions in the ranks of the Government, especially with the far-right Liga, whose leader, Matteo Salvini, tries to win the favor of a sector of the population that opposes vaccination and maintains that this health pass is a way to force people to inoculate doses if they don’t want to undergo continuous molecular or antigen testing.
The initiative has the support of the employers and also of the unions to avoid new restrictions to stop the spread of the virus, but the workers’ representatives had asked on Wednesday in a meeting with Draghi that vaccination be made mandatory, a scenario that the Executive “does not contemplate, at least for now,” according to the general secretary of the country’s largest union, CGIL, Maurizio Landini.