Italy to require teachers to have proof of COVID-19 vaccination

Italy to require teachers to have proof of COVID-19 vaccination
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The Italian government on Thursday enacted a requirement for teachers to have proof of vaccination against COVID-19 before entering a classroom.

The so-called Green Pass is a digital or paper certificate that shows if a person has been vaccinated or has tested negative for COVID-19. It is already required of travelers using public transport.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi expanded the requirement to include all teachers, university students and long-distance transport to begin on Sept. 1, Reuters reports.

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Teachers will not be permitted to work without the certificate and they will not be paid after five days of absence.

"The choice of the government is to invest as much as possible in the Green Pass to avoid closures and to safeguard freedom," Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza told reporters about the decision.

The Italian government also ruled that beginning Friday, the Green Pass will be required to eat indoors as well as to take part in other service and leisure activities.

Italy's crackdown comes the same day France's Constitutional Council ruled that COVID-19 health pass requirements for its citizens to enter public venues was legal. In France, the health pass is available to those who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, have recently recovered from the virus or have recently tested negative.

Protests have taken place across France over the past few weeks against the requirement, with demonstrators saying it impinges on their freedoms and is unconstitutional. More than 200,000 demonstrators took the streets in Paris this past weekend.

Nearly 50 percent of France's population is fully vaccinated and 64 percent have received at least one dose, according to Our World in Data.

Shortly after French President Emmanuel MacronEmmanuel Jean-Michel MacronMacron tells UK to 'get serious' on migrant crisis amid fresh tensions Cities prep security plans for large holiday crowds Harris's communications director to depart next month MORE announced the health pass, more than 1 million people signed up to get vaccinated. Reuters notes that this does not appear to be the case in Italy, with vaccination rates actually slowing down in the weeks since Draghi announced the restrictions around the Green Pass.

Around 65 percent of Italy's population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, Reuters reports.