Italy tightens screws on COVID-19 unvaccinated, extends shot mandate

ROME: Italy tightened its grip on people unwilling to take an anti-COVID vaccine on Wednesday (November 24), sharply restricting access to a range of services and making vaccines mandatory for a wider range of public workers. sector.

Italy acted as much of Europe ramps up restrictions to try to deal with another wave of the pandemic.

Under the Italian measures, which will come into effect from December 6, unvaccinated people will not be able to access venues such as cinemas, restaurants and sporting events, Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s government said in a statement.

“We see that the situation in neighboring countries is very serious and we also see that the situation in Italy is gradually but continuously deteriorating,” Draghi told reporters after the cabinet approved the new rules.

“We want to be very careful to try to protect what Italians have achieved in the past year,” Draghi said, stressing the need to avoid a complete lockdown from the coronavirus that triggered Italy’s steepest post-war recession in 2020.

The government has extended mandatory vaccination, already in place for health professionals, to all school staff, police and military, from December 15.

In addition, the third doses of the vaccine, called “boosters,” currently available to individuals over the age of 40, will be made available to anyone over the age of 18.

The measures tighten the requirements for a Green Pass, a certificate that gives vaccinees access to various leisure activities and services, to exclude people who have tested negative in the past 48 hours but have not had a COVID-19 injection.

Most of these steps were widely expected following comments from ministers in recent days, but surprisingly the government also decided to make the Green Pass mandatory for use on urban public transport.

This will be a challenge to maintain, given the busy peak hours of Italy’s buses and metros. For access to public transport, the Green Pass will be available to people with a negative test, not just to those who have been vaccinated, the government said.

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