Today the Minister of the Interior Luciana Lamorgese will chair a meeting with the twenty prefects of the regional capitals, the police chief Lamberto Giannini and the general commanders of the Carabinieri and Guardia di Finanza to organize the Green Pass control system in the two versions designed by the government , the “basic” one and the so-called “reinforced” one, obtainable only with vaccination or recovery from the coronavirus, necessary from 6 December to access local and public events.
Ensuring compliance with obligations, that is, controlling millions of people every day, is one of the most complex and delicate issues of the new rules decided by the government to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
The decree provides that from 6 December to 15 January 2022 the “basic” version of the Green Pass, also available with a negative swab made in the previous 48 hours, will be mandatory to get on local public transport, such as buses and trams, and regional trains . Until now, it was only needed for long-distance trains, airplanes and inter-regional ferries. The “strengthened” Green Pass, on the other hand, is valid for 9 months from the last administration for those who have been vaccinated, and six months from recovery for those who have had COVID-19. It will be used to access shows, sporting events, indoor bars and restaurants, parties and discos, public ceremonies, which would otherwise be subject to restrictions in the yellow zone.
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The extension of the Green Pass also to local means of transport, used every day by millions of people to travel, entails a further and significant increase in checks. During the press conference in which the decree was presented, Prime Minister Mario Draghi said that “the forces of order will be fully mobilized. There is a whole anecdotal about the lack of controls, they need to be strengthened ».
The operational measures of Draghi’s indications are reported in article 7 of the decree published in the Official Journal. The text states that each prefect must convene the provincial committee for public order and safety by Tuesday 30 November and by Thursday 2 December adopt “a plan for the constant carrying out of checks, even on a sample basis, using the police forces and of the personnel of the municipal police corps with the qualification of public security officer, in order to ensure compliance with the obligation to possess the certifications “. Furthermore, each week the prefects must send a report of the checks carried out to the Ministry of the Interior.
The explicit indication of the possibility of carrying out “even random” checks makes it possible to avoid significant consequences on the local transport system: checking the Green Pass for every single person who gets on a bus or enters the subway would have been virtually impossible and would have clogged the provision of the service, even without considering the gatherings that would have resulted from it. On the Milan underground alone, for example, about one million passengers get on every day, 500 thousand on that of Rome. “No one escapes that it is not easy to check on the metro, but the commitment by the Ministry of the Interior is to intensify the checks,” explained the Minister of Regional Affairs Maria Stella Gelmini.
But the problem of how to verify the possession of the Green Pass remains, even with random checks, because according to the ministry the personnel serving the police is not enough: with the Madia reform, in 2017, the number of police officers it has gone from 117 thousand to 111 thousand and today there are about 94 thousand plus 104 thousand carabinieri, 57 thousand financiers and 64 thousand local police officers. Too few, according to Lamorgese, even having to guarantee the normal garrison of the territory.
The minister said that “if we were more it would be better.” “We have a shortage of staff. Let us remember that the staff of the police force has been cut over the years, today the agents have many commitments, but we will work and we will make plans. They will be random checks and we will try to raise awareness among the managers of clubs and pools “, he explained before underlining that since January 1st 28 million people and 3.6 million premises have been checked:” Now more will be done with the forces we have ».
In the meeting with the prefects of the regional capitals, operational details will be discussed on the frequency of random checks and on the places where they must be intensified to comply with the objectives of the decree. It is likely that in the first days in which the decree will be operational, after 6 December, the controls will be more rigorous and frequent.
According to Pressmoreover, in the next few days the government will discuss a new decree or amendment to strengthen controls also on the roads on the borders with France, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia by forcing motorists to show the Green Pass and to check their body temperature. A modality that up to now has not been foreseen by the approved decrees and which will therefore have to be added with new norms.