The Italian government on Wednesday approved a measure requiring people over the age of 50 to be vaccinated against the corona virus, as the country struggles with Omicron almost daily new records of various fresh infections. Is.
Earlier in the day, 189,000 new infections were confirmed in a country of about 59 million people.
“We want to stop the spread of the contagious disease and move forward the Italians who are not yet vaccinated,” Prime Minister Mario Draghi told a cabinet meeting on Wednesday evening, quoting an official in his office. Has been imposed. ” .
The cabinet voted unanimously to implement the mandate, which Public Administration Minister Renato Brunetta said puts Italy at the forefront of cracking down on those in Europe who refuse vaccines. And who are now responsible for the majority of patients in Italy’s fast-filling ICU beds.
About 78% of Italy’s population has been fully vaccinated against the corona virus, which can cause COVID-19. So far, about 36% have received a booster shot, which experts say is an important way to reduce the risk of infection requiring intensive care or becoming fatal.
Draghi said the need for vaccinations for the elderly was decided due to concerns about their high risk of hospitalization and “to reduce the pressure on hospitals and save lives”.
It was not immediately clear what punishment, if any, the elderly could face for non-vaccination. But Health Minister Roberto Spranza also told reporters that any person 50 years of age or older would be checked before entering the workplace to see if they had a “supergreen pass.” ” Is. This certification is intended for those who have been fully vaccinated or who have recently recovered from COVID-19.
Workplace requirements for older workers in both the public and private sectors take effect on February 15. This date could potentially give workers time to get fully vaccinated if they have not yet.
The cabinet also ordered that everyone working in universities must be vaccinated, regardless of age. Currently, vaccinations are required for school teachers, healthcare workers, members of the military and police forces, regardless of age.
It was also stipulated that anyone working or receiving services in beauty parlors and similar establishments would have a negative virus test if they had not been vaccinated or had not recently recovered from COVID-19. Are The same principle applies to shopping mall stores and banks and post offices. Exceptions to those who work or sponsor pharmacies or food stores will be an exception.