Italy has mandated all workers across the country to hold the Covid-19 ‘Green Pass’, which the government had introduced on September 16 and gave companies and employers one month to adjust to the rule.
The Green Pass is the certificate showing proof that a person has received at least one dose of the vaccine; or is fully immunised; or has recovered from the infection; or has tested negative in the last 48 hours, reports Xinhua news agency.
The mandate for all the workers in both private and public sectors came into force on Friday.
The rule provides that any worker who fails to show the Green Pass will be put on unpaid leave, but could not be dismissed.
They could also face a fine of up to 1,500 euros ($1,740) for not complying.
Employers would be held responsible for checking their workers enter their job posts with the Green Pass.
While the majority of Italy’s population accepted it as necessary to further proceed towards normal life, the move met with protests by some parts of the society.
Sit-ins and rallies were registered in some cities on Friday, the largest of which took place in Genoa and Trieste.
Some 5,000 protesters demonstrated in Trieste, where some of the major harbour’s activities were affected, regional governor Massimiliano Fedriga told private all-news TV channel Sky TG24.
Traffic disruption was reported before the ports of Genoa and of Ancona (central Italy).
Smaller protests were also seen in Rome, Milan, Turin, and Venice.
In Italy, 0.8 per cent of the target population — those aged above 12 — have been fully immunised against Covid-19, and over 85 per cent have had a first dose, according to the Health Ministry.
Meanwhile, at least 8 million people aged above 12 are yet to receive the first vaccine dose.
Italy is the first European Union country to go this far in terms of anti-Covid protocols in the job market.
The government had moved gradually in an earlier phase, making vaccines mandatory only for workers in essential sectors such as healthcare and education.