Italy introduces strict vaccination requirements for teachers and police officers

Premier Mario Draghi at press conference in Rome

Rome Italy is expanding its compulsory vaccination for individual professional groups: From mid-December there will be a corona vaccination for the entire security and defense apparatus. Around half a million women soldiers, carabinieri and police officers in the country are affected. To this end, the entire school staff (1.2 million employees) is obliged to give injections.

Vaccination has been mandatory for health workers since April. Employees in hospitals or retirement homes are suspended from work without a vaccination certificate – and receive no salary. The same model will also apply to teachers and security staff in the future. With immediate effect, the vaccination requirement for health workers also includes the booster vaccination.

At the same time, Mario Draghi’s government has further restricted the life of the unvaccinated. From December 6th and initially until January 15th, a 2G rule will apply throughout public life. Unvaccinated people then no longer have access to restaurants, bars, fitness studios, and are not allowed to go skiing, stadiums or theaters.

So far, a 3G rule has applied to public life across Italy. “The situation is currently under control,” said Prime Minister Draghi at a press conference on Wednesday evening. “Thanks to the vaccination campaign.” But the situation in neighboring countries is very serious – “and we are not yet in the middle of winter”. The government wants to avoid further restrictions on vaccinated people at all costs. “We do not want to go back into lockdown,” said the minister responsible for the regions, Mariastella Gelmini. “We have to support our economy.”

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The 3G obligation, which was only introduced in mid-October, remains unaffected in the entire world of work. A negative test will still be sufficient here. The same model is now being expanded to include local public transport and the hotel industry. Until now, overnight guests did not need a 3G certificate; when traveling, the obligation only applied in long-distance trains or buses. At the same time, the validity of the vaccination will be shortened: In future, the proof will only be valid for nine months instead of the previous twelve.

South Tyrol is the first region to be locked down again

With all its measures, the government continues to insist on a high vaccination rate. As of Wednesday, 87 percent of the population aged twelve and over received at least one dose, and more than 84 percent are completely immunized. Almost four million booster vaccinations have already been administered, and from next Monday the booster vaccination is to be activated for everyone aged 18 and over whose last vaccination was at least five months ago.

But there are still around 6.5 million adults who do not want to be immunized. Among 30 to 50 year olds, the rate of unvaccinated people is around 15 percent. The number of infections in Italy is still far from those in Germany: the Ministry of Health counted around 10,000 new infections on Tuesday, and the hospitals are still not overloaded with 560 Covid intensive care patients. Even so, the seven-day incidence continues to rise. It is currently 114 – a month ago it was below 40.

South Tyrol is meanwhile the first region in Italy to be locked down again. The incidence here is 415, in 20 municipalities the value is even over 800 – there is again a curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m., plus a mask requirement on the street. Governor Arno Kompatscher had asked the government to be able to enforce stricter rules independently. South Tyrol has the worst vaccination rate in Italy, in some communities the value is below 70 percent. The number of vaccination opponents and green pass protesters is particularly high here near the Austrian border.

More: Expiring vaccination certificates, compulsory health care: This is how Europe boosts.

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