The Italian government has now mandated the use of covid passports in the country for all employees.
This makes Italy the first European country to make a covid certificate mandatory for all workers, as countries start to take stronger measures in an effort to boost inoculation rates.
The government has announced that from mid-October, all Italian workers and employees are expected to present their covid passports and defaulters who fail to present a valid certificate will be subject to suspension and could have their pay stopped after five days.
The purpose of the document is to identify whether the holder or person has been vaccinated, recovered recently from the virus, or tested negative for covid.
This move was originally created at the European Union level to support intra-European travel, however, Italy was among the first countries to also use it as a requirement to enter venues such as museums and gyms and most recently, mandating the passport for all workers.
The government adopted this move in an effort to avoid another surge in cases as the winter season approaches.
According to the Italian Health Minister, Roberto Speranza, “We are extending the obligation of the green pass to the entire world of work, public and private, and we are doing so for two essential reasons: to make these places safer and to make our vaccination campaign even stronger.”
Following this announcement, there have been reports of protests in the country against the use of the covid passport, but political parties and trade unions have expressed support for the latest policy as a decision to avoid further lockdowns across the countries, which have had a negative effect on different sectors of the economy.
In the same vein, the French government recently made a decision to suspend around 3,000 health workers for being unvaccinated against covid-19.
The authorities announced that about 12% of hospital staff and 6% of doctors in private practices were unvaccinated against the coronavirus despite that the government made vaccination mandatory for workers in the health sector by September 15.
“Although the suspensions are temporary and healthcare is assured,” the country’s Health Minister Olivier Veran also stated that “responsible caregivers were vaccinated to protect themselves and their patients.”
Similar to France and Italy, Greece has also made it mandatory for nursing home staff and healthcare workers to get vaccinated and Italy has said that health workers who are unvaccinated could be suspended without pay.