The rules regarding COVID-19 vaccinations and their implications for people’s lives have sparked debate around the world.
In the midst of these discussions, an alleged Italian plan for COVID passes linked to vaccination status sparked an online conversation.
Some social media users, who questioned the impact on freedoms, said Italy would require a “green pass” or “COVID passport” for all workers.
They suggested that such passes would be necessary for people to be able to work in the country.
A post on Twitter, with more than 2,000 likes, called the “alarming foray into civil liberties”.
A so-called green pass has been used in Italy to allow access to certain environments and facilitate travel outside the country.
Its use is expected to expand and be required for workers to continue their duties. This is due to come into effect on October 15.
In remarks reported by the BBC, Health Minister Roberto Speranza said: “The introduction of a laissez-passer like the one we are putting into effect with this decree will help us, we are sure, to do so. advance this vaccination campaign.
Speranza also said in comments reported by The Associated Press: “The Green Pass is an instrument of freedom, which will help us make workplaces safer. The second reason is to step up our vaccination campaign.”
Passes require proof of vaccination, a recent negative test, or recovery from the virus within the last few months.
A law to extend pass requirements to all workplaces was approved on September 16. Reuters said any worker who failed to present a certificate would be suspended without pay.
Passes have already been required for certain leisure activities.
In comments reported by Reuters, Minister of Public Administration Renato Brunetta said: “Nothing like this has been done in Europe … we are putting ourselves at the forefront at the international level.”
There have been protests across Italy over the green passes, but The Local reported that vaccine bookings increased after the green pass was announced.
The pass was originally introduced to facilitate travel within Europe, although its use has since grown. It can be obtained online through the use of a code obtained upon receiving a vaccination, negative test or recovery from COVID-19.
Fines of up to 1,500 euros, or about $ 1,750, can be imposed if people are found to be working without a pass.
NEWSWEEK FACT CHECK
Yes, Italy makes it so that people have to present a green pass in order to be able to get to work.
Those who do not can be sent home without pay. The passes indicate a vaccination, negative test, or recent recovery from infection.