On Thursday July 22nd, the Italian government, announced that starting in August, people must show proof of immunity to access a set of services and leisure activities. The decision is meant to contain a fresh surge in coronavirus cases. As of August 6, the pass will be required to go to gyms, swimming pools, sports stadiums, museums, spas, casinos and cinemas. Eating in indoor restaurants also requires a pass.
The Green Pass is essential if we want to keep businesses openMario Draghi, Italy’s Prime Minister
The Green Pass is a digital or paper certificate that shows if someone has received at least one jab, has tested negative or has recently recovered from Covid-19. The government’s decision underscores a growing concern regarding the Delta variant, which is proving to be be highly contagious. A similar move has been taken by the French government to try to control the rising number of contagion cases in the country.
Within Draghi’s unity government there was some dissent about the new measures, however, which meant that proposals to include trains, public transport and domestic flights in the pass system could not be approved. The League party postulated that such a move would kill tourism. The cabinet did agree on the fact that discos should remain closed, even for those with a Green Pass.
Some politicians from the Right, including lawmakers within Draghi’s coalition, have refused to back the vaccination drive. They have even urged people under 40 not to get inoculated, something that Draghi did not let pass without a comment.
Calls for people not to get vaccinated is a call for people to die. If you don’t vaccinate, you get sick, you die or you let other people dieMario Draghi, Italy’s Prime Minister
The Green Pass was introduced in Italy last month, but so far it has only been needed for travel within the European Union and to gain access to care homes or large wedding receptions within Italy. According to Reuters, the number of new coronavirus infections recorded in Italy has doubled over the past week, hitting 5,057 on Thursday July 22nd.
There is also concern that the vaccination campaign is slowing, with many under 50s still not registering to receive the vaccine. According to latest data, roughly 48 of Italians have been vaccinated, while 14 % are awaiting a second jab. Studies show that double vaccinations offer strong protection from the Delta variant, while initial doses provide only limited cover.