Italy's PM Mandates Health Pass in Public Places
Italy's cabinet of PM Mario Draghi on Thursday decided to make the coronavirus health pass mandatory for teachers as well as passengers on public transport, including domestic flights, ferries and long-distance trains, news wires reported. The Green Pass, which is an extension of the EU's digital Covid certificate, will already be required from Friday to enter cinemas, museums and indoor sports venues, or eat indoors at restaurants.
The health certificate proves bearers have either been vaccinated with at least one dose, have recovered from Covid-19 within the past six months, or have tested negative in the previous 48 hours.
Under the new decree law, school and university staff will need the pass, as will university students. Staff without passes for five days straight will be suspended and have their pay frozen, Italian media said.
Education minister Patrizio Bianchi told a press conference that over 86% of school personnel had been vaccinated, and that the number may be closer to 90%, AFP reported.
Health minister Roberto Speranza called on families to give the jab to children over 12 years old, and said teenagers would be eligible for cut-price rapid covid detection tests.
The green pass will be obligatory on domestic flights, trains and some ferry services from 1 September.
The minimum quarantine period for people who test positive for the virus or have been in contact with a COVID-19 patient was reduced for those who have been vaccinated, from 10 to 7 days.
Italy was the first country in Europe to make it obligatory for doctors and health workers in the public and private sector to get vaccinated or face being banned from working directly with patients.
A group of 300 Italian health workers has gone to court to try to get the obligation overturned.
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