Italy okays mandatory green pass for schools, long-haul transportation

Rome, (Samajweekly) The Italian government has approved a new decree that makes a green pass mandatory for school and university staff, university students, and passengers on long-haul means of transportation such as airplanes, ships and ferries, and trains.

The green pass is a certificate issued by health authorities that shows people have been vaccinated or have tested negative or have recovered from Covid-19, reports Xinhua news agency.

“In this epidemiological phase the government has chosen to invest as much as possible in the green pass as a tool to avoid shutdowns and therefore to safeguard our liberties,” Health Minister Roberto Speranza said at a press conference following a cabinet meeting.

The minister pointed to the success of the vaccination campaign, with “over 70 million doses administered, over 62 per cent of the population having completed the vaccination cycle and 68 per cent having received at least one dose”.

Also present at the press conference were Education Minister Patrizio Bianchi and Sustainable Infrastructures and Mobility Minister Enrico Giovannini.

School staff who refuse vaccination will be suspended without pay, and students who do so will be considered to be engaging in unjustified absences, Bianchi said.

First introduced in June, the green pass is necessary in order to attend public events, access nursing homes and move around the country and within the European Union,.

As of Friday, Italy has reported a total of 4,377,188 confirmed coronavirus cases and 128,163 deaths.