Any employee – in the public or private sector – must have a “green pass” with a QR code as proof of a complete vaccination, recent recovery from infection or a negative test during the years. 48 hours previous.
Employees who go to work without the pass face a fine of up to 1,500 euros ($ 1,730) and suspension without pay. Employers could also be subject to fines if they allow staff to work without.
A demonstration against the “green pass” requirement will take place on Friday afternoon at the Circus Maximus in Rome. A strike is also underway at the port of Trieste in the north of the country.
Italian government statistics indicate that 81 percent of the eligible population has been fully vaccinated and over 85 percent received the first dose. Italy has also started booster shots for people with compromised immunity who are over 80 years old.
“The green pass is a bad thing, it is discrimination under the law. Nothing more. It is not a health regulation, it is just a political step to create the division between the people… ”, declared Fabio Bocin, a port of 59 years. worker in Trieste.
In Rome, police in riot gear stood in front of a small rally with people shouting “No green pass”.
Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s office approved the rule – one of the toughest anti-Covid measures in the world – in mid-September. It is effective until the end of the year.
Some 15% of private sector workers and 8% of public sector workers do not have green passes, an internal government document seen by Reuters estimates.
The government hoped the decision to make the health pass mandatory would convince unvaccinated Italians to change their minds, but with more than 80% of residents over 12 already fully vaccinated and low infection rates, this increase did not materialize.
Right-wing Ligue et Frères d’Italie parties and some unions say, to address the risk of staff shortages, the validity of Covid tests should be extended from 48 to 72 hours, and they should be free for unvaccinated workers .
But the government has so far resisted these calls. The center-left Democratic Party, which is part of Draghi’s ruling coalition, says making the swabs free would amount to an amnesty for tax evaders.