Italy to adopt tough COVID-19 pass regime amid fears of 'chaos'
Starting Friday, all workers in Italy will be required to show a COVID-19 health pass as the country is imposing one of the toughest anti-coronavirus regimes in the world, that has already provoked riots and which many fear will cause "chaos", AFP reports.
More than 85% of Italians over the age of 12 have received at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine, making them eligible for the so-called Green Pass certificate.
But according to various estimates, about 2.5 million workers, out of 23 million in total, are unvaccinated, and risk being denied access to the workplace from Oct. 15.
"You have no idea of the chaos that we will have in firms," the president of the heavily industrialized northern Veneto region, Luca Zaia, said recently.
Unvaccinated workers can still get a Green Pass by getting tested for the coronavirus or with a certificate of recovery if they contracted the virus within the past six months.
But if they opt for tests, they have to take them at their own expense, and repeat them every 48 hours.
Zaia suggested there was not enough testing capacity to meet potential demand, raising the prospect of mass absenteeism from work.
"The entrepreneurs I talk to are very worried," he said.
Green passes are already required for teachers and other school workers, and also for other activities such as eating indoors in bars and restaurants, or going to the cinema, museums and football games.