Italy’s Covid-19 health pass comes into force

Rome, Aug 6 (EFE).- Starting Friday, people in Italy wishing to  enter stadiums, museums, theatres, cinemas, swimming pools, gyms and similar establishments or to dine indoors at a restaurant will need to present a Covid-19 health certificate.

Visitors lined up at museums and archeological sites with their cell phones in hand to display the QR code for the so-called green pass, which proves that the carrier has had at least one dose of vaccine, tested negative for coronavirus within the last 48 hours or recovered from the disease.

Failure to comply can result in fines of up to 1,000 euros ($1,176) for both the client and the business and establishments can be closed for up to 10 days for repeat infractions.

To facilitate rapid antigen testing for the unvaccinated, the government agreed to reduce the price of Covid-19 tests in pharmacies from 22 euros to 15 euros for adults and 8 euros for minors.

For now, the government of Prime Minister Mario Draghi has decided to exclude hotels from the health pass mandate, in a bid to save the summer season.

Beginning in September, however, instructors at every level of Italy’s educational system and students at universities will be required to present the Covid-19 health certificate.

Teachers at primary and secondary schools who fail to present the certificate will face suspension and loss of pay.

The government is also making the pass obligatory to board a commercial airplane and for most inter-regional travel by boat, train or bus, with an exception for ferries linking the southern end of the Italian peninsula with the island of Sicily.

Italy recorded 6,599 new infections and 24 deaths in the past 24 hours, according to the Health Ministry.

Nearly 34 million Italians, or 62.55 percent of the population over the age of 12, have been fully vaccinated, according to the latest official figures. EFE

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