Italy makes COVID-19 health passport compulsory for teachers
- Compulsory health pass for planes, boats and trains from September 1
- Has already been decreed for many leisure activities from August 6
- Italy hopes requirement will speed up COVID jabs
ROME, August 5 (Reuters) – The Italian government on Thursday decided that teachers must have proof of immunity to COVID-19 before entering class, and also made the so-called Green Pass mandatory for travelers by train, plane, boat and between city coaches.
The Green Pass is a digital or paper certificate that shows whether someone has received at least one jab, tested negative, or recently recovered from coronavirus.
Seeking to speed up vaccinations to counter the highly contagious variant of the Delta, the government had already decreed that from August 6, the pass would be mandatory for eating indoors in restaurants and using a range of services and facilities. ‘hobbies. Read more
On Thursday, despite the reluctance of the ruling coalition and the small street protests, Mario Draghi’s cabinet extended the Green Pass requirement to all teachers, university students and long-distance transport from September 1.
“The government’s choice is to invest as much as possible in the Green Pass to avoid closures and safeguard freedom,” Health Minister Roberto Speranza told reporters.
Teachers will not be able to work without the certificate and after five days of absence they will no longer be paid.
Italy is following in the footsteps of France, which was the first European country to declare that it made proof of immunity mandatory for access to a range of services and locations.
President Emmanuel Macron’s decision sparked larger protests than those seen in Italy. Opponents of the measures say they are trampling on freedoms, discriminating against the unvaccinated and flouting European Union rules.
On Thursday, the highest French court ruled that the health pass was not against the constitution.
Italy reported 27 coronavirus-related deaths on Thursday compared to 21 the day before, the health ministry said, while the daily tally of new infections fell from 6,230 to 7,230.
The country has recorded 128,163 deaths from COVID since the outbreak of its outbreak in February last year, the second-highest death toll in Europe after Britain and the eighth in the world. It has seen 4.38 million cases to date.
In March, just one month after taking office, Draghi made vaccination of health workers compulsory. Read more
A growing number of countries are looking for ways to convince reluctant sections of their populations to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
US President Joe Biden said last week that it would be mandatory for federal workers to be vaccinated or undergo regular tests, mask warrants and travel restrictions.
While France has seen an increase in vaccinations following Macron’s announcement of the health pass requirement, the picture in Italy is less clear.
The rate of inoculations actually slowed in the two weeks after Draghi announced the first Green Pass restrictions on July 22, but this may be due to the time lag between booking a jab and obtaining a jab, and summer vacation.
“Reluctance to vaccinate among those over 50 persists,” Nino Cartabellotta, head of the Italian public health think tank GIMBE, told Reuters.
As of August 4, around 65% of Italians had received at least one injection against COVID-19, of which 54% were fully vaccinated. The figures are broadly in line with those for most European countries.
Additional reporting by Giselda Vagnoni; Editing by Angus MacSwan
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