Italy became the first European country to mandate COVID-19 health passes for all workers Thursday.
The new measure is set to begin starting Oct. 15 and stay in effect until the end of the year, Euronews reported. The vaccine certificates, known as green passes, will be provided both digitally and on paper.
Currently, people are required to show them to enter restaurants, gyms, train stations, movie theaters and swimming pools, BBC reported.
“We are extending the obligation of the green pass to the entire world of work, public and private, and we are doing so for two essential reasons: to make these places safer and to make our vaccination campaign even stronger,” health minister Roberto Speranza said in a statement, according to Euronews. (RELATED: ‘Long COVID-19’ Is Incredibly Rare In Kids, New Data Shows)
Italy put the measure into effect in an effort to increase the number of vaccines within the Italian population. Additionally, the Italian government hopes to lower infection rates in case of a winter surge of COVID-19 cases, Euronews reported.
BREAKING: Italy looking to make covid passports MANDATORY for all workers.
People who turn up to work without a “green pass” risk being suspended from their job without pay.
This is draconian.
— PeterSweden (@PeterSweden7) September 15, 2021
The green pass includes alternatives to being vaccinated, including proof of a recent negative test or that the worker is recovering from having COVID-19, according to Euronews.
Pensioners and unemployed workers in Italy will be the only groups of people who are exempt from having the pass.
Any employee who does have a valid COVID-19 health certificates will be suspended without pay after five days, but will not be fired for the infraction. Those who do not get the certificate could also face fines up to €1,500, the outlet reported.