Italy: Unvaccinated effectively banned from coffee shops, gyms and trains under tough new rules

·2-min read
Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi at a press conference on Monday (AFP via Getty Images)
Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi at a press conference on Monday (AFP via Getty Images)

Unvaccinated people in Italy are facing new restrictions to enter everyday venues including coffee shops and gyms.

The new ‘super’ health pass eliminates proof of negative test to gain access to services, meaning an effective ban for many unvaccinated people.

Instead, only proof of vaccination or recovery from a recent infection will be allowed.

The move affects access to public transport, hotels, gyms, coffee shops and other everyday activities. Covid-19 infections are soaring past 100,000 per day in Italy.

The latest measures by the Italian government to tackle the Omicron-fulled wave comes after a standard health pass was introduced for access into workplaces and new outdoor mask mandates were introduced.

Many in the country welcomed the new restrictions, which were being enforced on Monday by police fanning out at train stations to check passengers' vaccine status.

Passengers were also required to wear the more protective FFP2 face masks on public transport as of Monday.

"I'm happy that they are controlling everywhere," Carola Pasqualotto, a member of the Imperi sport centre in Rome, told the Associated Press.

"I am in favour of mandatory vaccines for all."

However, the country’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi has faced criticism for a related decision to mandate vaccinations for anyone 50 and over starting next month.

Critics say the fine for noncompliance, which starts at 100 euros (£83.44), makes the mandate toothless.

Italy has fully vaccinated 86% of the over-12 population, and nearly 75% of those who are eligible have received a booster. But two million people out of Italy's population of 60 million are currently positive, impacting essential services.

School districts have complained they do not have enough teachers to reopen, since so many are positive or in quarantine, while some train services have been cancelled over staff shortages.

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