Coronapas in Italy compulsory at work from tomorrow

Where other European countries are slowly scaling down the corona measures, Italy is taking it one step further. All Italians working at private companies or government should be able to show a corona pass in the workplace from tomorrow. Those who have not been vaccinated or recently tested are not allowed to enter and will not be paid.

โ€œWe have specially reset the automatic door,โ€ shows Maurizio Minotti. He runs a construction company with twelve employees on the periphery of Rome and looks best against controlling everyone. โ€œIt applies not only to those who work here, but also visitors, suppliers and couriers. Every time someone wants to go in, an employee has to put down their work and check that person.โ€

Securing Economy

The corona pass was already compulsory for healthcare and teaching staff in Italy. As the vaccination rate remained around 80 percent, Mario Draghis government decided to extend the measure last month. The new law includes about 18 million people.

Despite his practical objections, Minotti believes that the government has made the right decision. He vividly recalls the previous lockdowns, which were longer and more stringent in Italy than in the Netherlands. โ€œI was sitting here alone in the office, it was really sad. The most important thing now is that we can keep working. A company is like an engine, we cant idle forever. If there is another setback, the engine will fall out.โ€

How many Italians support the new law is unclear. In polls a few months ago, two thirds of the population spoke out for the corona pass, but that support seems to be declining. A more recent study argues that only a little more than half of Italians think the work pass obligation is a good idea.

The biggest objection is that unvaccinated employees have to pay their tests themselves. Thats three a week of 15 euros each, which amounts to 180 euros a month. If the law applies until the end of December, as is now envisaged, an unvaccinated person will lose some 500 euros to work.

Demonstrations and Violence

Although the government took the law decision a month ago, last weekend was the first major demonstration. Around 10,000 people gathered in Rome. The protest began peacefully but later got out of control, partly because neo-fascist movements joined the protesters.

โ€œThat violence is terrible, also because it distracts from the message,โ€ says Claudia Paganelli. She demonstrated against the corona pass several times. โ€œAmong the protesters were families with children, normal people. Thats what the government needs to listen to.โ€

Paganelli works at a bank, but has decided not to go to the case from tomorrow. โ€œI want to send a signal. A signal of resistance, that Im not participating in this form of blackmail.โ€

If she continues, she wont get a salary until December. โ€œIts not like I swim in the money. Im sure Ill have to turn things in. But I think thats worth sticking to my principles.โ€

How many Italians will make that same choice is hard to tell. However, several sectors, including the transport and agriculture sectors, have indicated a fear of staff shortages. It is therefore possible that a measure designed to keep the economy running might be disruptive.

Economy needs to keep running

Minotti manager may not ask which of its employees has been vaccinated for privacy reasons. To avoid the risk of someone staying at home, he has decided to take care of any tests. โ€œWe made an appointment with a nearby pharmacy. Employees can go there, at our expense.โ€

For him, it is especially important that everything continues to run, and that last years losses can be overtaken. โ€œWere on the road, but were far from there. That really takes a while.โ€