A “No Green Pass” event on September 11, 2021 in Turin, Italy.
Stefano Guidi | Getty Images News | Getty Images
LONDON – Italy has become the first European country to make a Covid certificate compulsory for all workers, as countries begin to take more stringent measures in a bid to increase vaccination rates.
From mid-October, any Italian worker who does not present a valid certificate will be suspended and could have their wages suspended after five days, the government said on Thursday.
The document, which can be digital or paper, indicates whether a person has been vaccinated, recently recovered from the virus, or tested negative for Covid. It was originally created at the EU level to support intra-European travel, but Italy was among the first countries to also use it as a requirement to enter places such as museums and gymnasiums.
According to data from the European Center for Disease Control, 73.8% of Italians are fully vaccinated against the virus.
However, authorities want to prevent a further increase in cases as winter approaches.
“We are extending the green pass obligation to the entire world of work, public and private, and we do so for two main reasons: to make these places safer and to further strengthen our vaccination campaign”, said Roberto Speranza, health minister, told reporters Thursday, according to euronews.
There have been a number of protests in Italy this summer against the use of the green pass. However, political parties and unions have so far supported the decision to avoid further closures, which have hit many sectors hard.
The announcement in Italy follows a decision in France to suspend around 3,000 health workers for non-vaccination against Covid-19.
France suspends unvaccinated health workers
The French authorities estimated last week that around 12% of hospital staff and 6% of private doctors were not vaccinated against the coronavirus, according to France24. Earlier this summer, the government made vaccination mandatory for healthcare workers by September 15.
The country’s health minister Olivier Veran said the suspensions were temporary and continued health care was assured, in a radio interview on Thursday. He told RTL that “caregivers have been responsibly vaccinated to protect themselves and their patients”.
Other European countries have taken a similar approach: Greece has also made vaccination compulsory for nursing home staff and healthcare workers, and Italy has said unvaccinated healthcare workers could be suspended. without pay.
In France, 80.7% of the population is fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. The average across the EU is 71.5%.