Status: 10/22/2021 10:46 a.m.
For a week now, every Italian employee has had to prove that they have been vaccinated, recovered or have just been tested. Probably also because tests are chargeable, the willingness to vaccinate increases.
The sun is shining at the vaccination center in front of the Termini train station in Rome. Eduardo stops shortly before the entrance, takes his health card and the printed registration out of his pocket. He hesitated for a long time, says the 55-year-old bricklayer, now he is also going for the corona vaccination. “I need the green pass. Wherever I work, they ask me for it,” said Eduardo.
Vaccination after months of waiting. Eduardo, who comes from Ecuador and has lived in Rome for eight years, is not alone in this. Many women and men with a migration background come to the Termini vaccination station, who often work as domestic help, babysitter or in the construction industry in Italy. They too must have what is known as the Greenpass since October 15, i.e. they must have been vaccinated, recovered or currently tested once.
The number of vaccinations has risen sharply
The Greenpass is a kind of 3G obligation in the workplace with which the Italian government wants to further increase vaccination readiness. At the start, the number of corona vaccinations increased by 35 percent compared to the beginning of the week, said Italy’s vaccination coordinator Francesco Paolo Figliuolo. The current data shows that this level can almost be maintained.
Unlike Eduardo from the vaccination center in Termini, Cristiano Mametti does not want to be vaccinated despite the green pass requirement. That is why the 49-year-old taxi driver stands in front of a pharmacy on Via Gregorio VII in the morning and waits for his test appointment.
“I’m doing this because I have to work. I don’t think the green pass is good, but stick to the rules. That’s why I came here before work to do a corona test,” said Mametti. Every two days he goes to the pharmacy for a test, which costs him 15 euros. With a negative test result, according to the government decree, he can work for the next 48 hours.
Sick leave has increased
“That is also quite expensive. In the end, it costs me around 150 to 180 euros a month,” says Mametti. That’s a lot of money for being able to work. A corona vaccination would be free of charge – but for “personal reasons” it is out of the question. As long as the green pass is valid, it will be tested every two days.
Nationwide, the number of tests has more than quadrupled since the introduction of the Greenpass, in some cases more than half a million are carried out every day. The government says that this is also a positive effect of the green pass. The higher number of tests gives a better overview of the infection situation and, as a result, means better protection of the population.
However, the number of sick leave in Italy has increased noticeably since the introduction of the green pass at work. The newspaper “Corriere della Sera” reports on this phenomenon under the headline: “The faked diseases of green pass opponents”.
Draghi: “Do whatever you can”
The street protests against the government decree have largely calmed down. There are ongoing demonstrations, especially in the northern Italian city of Trieste. A dockworkers union there called for a rally again.
Prime Minister Mario Draghi has made it clear several times that he wants to stick to the green pass. The fact that Italy has suffered particularly badly from the Covid pandemic is a mandate to politicians to take a consistent line to prevent the pandemic from flaring up again, Draghi said in parliament. “After we have had 132,000 deaths, our conscience must say that we must do everything that is possible and what is necessary.”
So far, the Draghi line in Italy has slowed the increase in the number of infections expected in autumn. The seven-day incidence is currently 31.1 (as of October 21), making Italy the best in Europe after Spain. Conversely, the rate of fully vaccinated people in Italy is one of the highest in Europe, with around 82 percent of those over the age of 12.
Greenpass in Italy: vaccination rate high, test numbers even higher
Jörg Seisselberg, ARD Rome, October 21, 2021 9:13 pm