The extension of the “green pass” for the coronavirus is planned by Italy. The government of the country as revealed by its minister is considering making it mandatory for public and private sector employees.
Italy is the first European country to do so as it seeks to increase the pace of the vaccination program and eradicate infections.
The pass, in digital or printed form, certifying that someone has received at least one dose of vaccine, tested negative or recently recovered from the virus, was originally designed to facilitate travel between EU countries.
At the same time, Italy is among the countries that have also made it mandatory inside the country in order for citizens to have access to places such as museums, gyms and the interior of restaurants.
Regional Affairs Minister Mariacella Jelmini told state radio that the cabinet tomorrow would be an “important moment” in extending the certificate’s mandatory use.
Italy has gradually expanded the use of the certificate in the workplace, despite disagreements over the issue within the national unity government of Prime Minister Mario Draghi. Jelmini said the government was ready to go further.
“The vaccine is the only weapon we have”
«We are moving towards a mandatory green pass, not only for public sector employees but also for those in the private sector.“, Said the Minister of Regional Affairs on the radio station RAI.
“The vaccine “It is the only weapon we have against COVID and we can only reduce the infection by vaccinating a significant majority of the population,” he was quoted as saying by the Athens News Agency, citing Italian media.
Italy has the second highest death toll from COVID-19 in Europe after Britain, and the eighth highest in the world.
About 73% of its 60 million people have received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine and 65% are fully vaccinated, a number that is broadly in line with most other European Union countries.
Tomorrow’s cabinet meeting will be held in a tense atmosphere. League leader Matteo Salvini has repeatedly spoken out against extending the use of the Green Pass, but internally his party is divided on the issue. It remains to be seen whether the government will reach the point announced by Jelmini, who comes from Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party.
Opponents of the Green Pass claim that it is trampling on freedoms and is the back door to force citizens to vaccination.
Many other European countries use the health certificate for leisure and travel, but none have made it mandatory for all public or private sector employees.
Four quarters of the government with the unions
Mario Draghi’s government will meet the unions on Wednesday afternoon (15/9) to discuss the extension of the green vaccinated pass.