Italy makes COVID-19 health pass compulsory for all workers
Ross Cullen in Paris
Protests have been held in Italy against the health pass plans. /AFP

Protests have been held in Italy against the health pass plans. /AFP


Italy is set to make its COVID-19 "Green Pass" mandatory for all workers from next month, becoming the first European country to do so. 

The country is trying to accelerate vaccinations and stamp out infections and the new rules are some of the strictest anti-COVID-19 measures in the world. 

They will come into force on October 15 in what is the latest effort by Italy's Prime Minister Mario Draghi to persuade more people to get inoculated. 

Among European Union members, Italy has the highest number of deaths from the coronavirus and the third-highest total of COVID-19 cases.



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The green pass can be in digital or paper form and it shows proof that someone has received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, or recently tested negative, or recently recovered from the virus. 

The health pass was originally conceived to ease travel among EU states, but some countries have started deploying it to control public access to certain locations in a bid to force the unvaccinated to get the jab, or take a test. 


France suspends 3,000 health workers

France's health pass has been in force in museums, cinemas and sports centers since late July and on August 9 it was imposed on bars, restaurants, cafes and on long-haul trains and buses. 

The obligation to show the pass forced a surge in coronavirus shots, with France set to break through the mark of 50 million first-vaccinations this weekend. 

But the vaccination program has not been without controversy. 

Health Minister Olivier Veran said Thursday that around 3,000 health workers had been suspended for their failure to get vaccinated. 

In June, President Emmanuel Macron announced the government's summer strategy would have two main measures imposed – the health pass and the obligation on doctors, nurses and carers to get vaccinated by the middle of this month. 

That announcement sparked a summer of weekly protests across the country, with more than 200,000 people at the movement's peak demonstrating against the health pass and the move to force paramedics, firefighters and surgeons to get the vaccine. 

In March, Italy ordered its health workers to get vaccinated or face suspension. More than 700 of them have been suspended since, the Italian doctors' federation said Thursday.

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