Rome: All workers in Italy will be required to have a Green Pass from Friday 15 October, under contentious new restrictions being ushered in by the Italian government.
The Green Pass is a digital or paper certificate showing that people have been vaccinated, tested negative or recovered from covid-19.
From this Friday the Green Pass will be compulsory for all workers – in both the public and private sectors – affecting around 23 million people.
Those caught violating the new rules will face hefty fines or suspension without pay, however nobody can be fired for not having the health certificate.
Those who do not have the Green Pass are not permitted to enter their workplace, with every day they miss as a result regarded as “unjustified” absence.
After five days off work, employees will be suspended and have their pay frozen, with this time off not counted for pension contributions or accrued for holidays.
Unvaccinated employees can still enter the workplace but only if they undergo a covid test every 48 hours, at their own expense, with a fixed cost of €15.
Those who go to work without a Green Pass risk fines of between €600 and €1,500.
Employers are responsible for ensuring that their staff have the Green Pass and have been equipped with an app for this purpose by the government.
Managers and employers are required to carry out checks, on a daily basis, on at least 20 per cent of their workforce.
Businesses who fail to carry out checks risk fines of between €400 and €1,000.
The only workers not required to have the Green Pass are those who have a medical certification that exempts them from being vaccinated.
The Green Pass obligation for workers will be in force until 31 December, when Italy’s covid state of emergency expires, after which its scope may be revised.
Critics say that extending the Green Pass requirements to all workers amounts to forced vaccination by the back door however premier Mario Draghi says the move is designed to help Italy to “continue to open up.”
Protests over Italy’s Green Pass had begun to fizzle out over the summer however there are renewed tensions in recent weeks, with violent clashes in Rome last weekend as well as threats of protests and strikes on 15 October.