Italy will introduce one of the most rigid and extensive vaccination passport systems in the world

The system that introduces the obligation of the Green Pass for most Italian workers, announced Thursday by the Draghi government, is the most drastic and extensive provision of this type approved so far in Europe, and one of the strictest in the world. The workers involved in the obligation to have received the vaccine, or alternatively to present a negative and recent result of a swab or a certificate of recovery from COVID-19, are about 23 million, according to the estimates cited by Minister Renato Brunetta: in 2019, INPS estimated that employees and self-employed workers in Italy were about 25.5 million.

The most similar measure so far introduced in the West is the one announced days ago by US President Joe Biden, who had required vaccination or negative tests for public employees and large companies, plus a series of other categories, for an estimated total. 100 million workers (a percentage in any case less than those involved in Italy).

There are now many countries where it is mandatory for public employees or those in the health-care and education sectors, and there are also some states – such as Indonesia or Kazakhstan – where the vaccine has been made mandatory. But not even China has so far provided for forms of vaccination obligation, direct or indirect, such as the one that will start in Italy from 15 October.

Such a rigid and broad measure could probably have been approved only by a government like the present one, of national unity which includes all the main political forces from right to left, with the exception of the Brothers of Italy. The government has made it clear that the measure serves to further increase the percentage of the vaccinated population, which is currently over 75% of vaccinable individuals, therefore people over 12 years old: it is one of the highest percentages in the world, even if lower than for example France, Canada, Ireland, China, Chile, Denmark, Spain and Portugal.

Although for weeks the Lega di Matteo Salvini had opposed at least in words the progressive extensions of the Green Pass, all the reconstructions on the Council of Ministers on Thursday report that the League’s ministers did not object to the latest provision, the most radical taken so far by the government. The newspapers today speak of a survey delivered in recent days to Salvini, according to which the great majority of his voters would be in favor of the obligation of the Green Pass, which would have convinced him to listen to the part of the party that already agreed, led by the Minister of Economic Development Giancarlo Giorgetti.

For now, the broad extension of the Green Pass is regulated by only a law decree of a few pages, which has yet to be published in the Official Gazette, which will probably be followed by other guidelines in the form of a DPCM.

The government exploited the legislative possibilities offered by the state of emergency, which in July had been extended until the end of December. But the concrete consequences of the provision are so massive and widespread that it will not be easy to establish a system of clear and all-encompassing rules. Many doubts remain in the text available so far, such as the methods of checks, the responsibilities of which are attributed to the employers.

– Read also: The vaccination obligation, explained

The way in which the Green Pass requirement was introduced has received various types of criticism: several legal experts have long contested the ways in which the government decided to act from a legal point of view, others

how such an important public health measure was not accompanied by a comprehensive disclosure on the data that guided the decision, while still others believe that the introduction of an explicit vaccination obligation would have been a preferable tool, as it would have acted more directly to achieve the same goal without progressively limiting the freedoms of a part of the population, the non-vaccinated one.

But that limitation of freedom, according to the government and according to many supporters of the extension of the Green Pass, is justified by the priority protection of public health, enshrined in the Constitution. Interviewed by Republic, Labor Minister Andrea Orlando said he had no doubts about the constitutionality of any obligation, arguing, however, that “the tool of the Green Pass traces a less deep groove in society”.

The amount of people involved in the new decree and the heterogeneity of the cases present in the Italian labor market will make it likely that many problems, hitches and paradoxes in its application will emerge in the coming weeks.

On Twitter, the researcher of the National Research Council (CNR) Fabrizio Chiodo ne

a rather blatant one, which concerns him. Chiodo is a scientist who does research on vaccines and collaborated in the development of one of the two Cuban vaccines, with which he was vaccinated. According to the decree, however, he cannot receive the Green Pass, as well as other Italians vaccinated with 9 of the 13 vaccines approved in the world against the coronavirus, and therefore from 15 October he will not be able to do his job in Italy. A situation similar to that in which the volunteers of the Reithera vaccine experimentation had found themselves months ago, which was then regularized by the government with a special circular.

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