A staff member checks an employee's COVID-19 Green Pass at the entrance of a workplace in Rome, Italy, on Oct. 15, 2021. The latest anti-pandemic protocol requiring all workers in the Italian job market to hold the Green Pass proving COVID-19 vaccination entered into force on Friday. (Photo by Alberto Lingria/Xinhua)
ROME, Oct. 15 (Xinhua) -- The latest anti-pandemic protocol requiring all workers in the Italian job market to hold the Green Pass proving COVID-19 vaccination entered into force on Friday.
The Italian government introduced the rule on Sept. 16, then gave companies and employers one month to adjust.
The Green Pass is the certificate showing proof that a person has received at least one dose of the vaccine, or is fully immunized, or has recovered from the infection, or has tested negative in the last 48 hours.
The new rule is now in force for all workers in both private and public sectors.
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 U.S. dollars) 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 in the two main ports in the country's northwest and northeast -- Genoa and Trieste, respectively.
Some 5,000 protesters were involved in Trieste, where some of the major harbor'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.
Yet, people opposing the vaccination and the mandatory green pass made a minority in the country, as 80.8 percent of the target population -- those aged above 12 -- have fully immunized, and over 85 percent had a first dose, according to the Health Ministry.
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 health care and education.
However, many remained reluctant, and with the beginning of autumn and the need to boost the economy as much as possible, such stringent regulation was deemed as a necessary further push to the ongoing vaccination campaign, which remains strongly recommended but not mandatory.
At least 8 million people aged above 12 have yet to receive the first vaccine dose, according to the latest report provided by the country's coronavirus emergency commissioner Francesco Figliuolo. Enditem