On September 21, 2021, the Italian government issued Decree No. 127, requiring a green COVID-19 certification for the performance of employment in almost all areas of the economy. The new measures are considered the strictest anti-COVID measures in the world.
Requirement of COVID-19 Green Certifications in the Public Sector
Effective October 15, 2021, until December 31, 2021 — the deadline for the end of the state of emergency — to prevent the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 infection, all public administration personnel and organs of constitutional relevance, including contractors, must possess and exhibit, upon request, the COVID-19 green certification established in the legislation in order to access their workplaces. Employees who possess suitable medical certification issued according to the criteria defined in a Ministry of Health circular are exempt from the vaccination mandate. (Decree arts. 1.1–1.3.) Employers have the duty to verify compliance with these requirements. (Art. 1.4.)
Employees who do not possess a COVID-19 green certification are legally considered absent without justification until they are able to present the required certification, in any case, no later than December 31, 2021, and no remuneration or emolument is owed to employees for the days of such unjustified absence. (Art. 1.6.) Noncompliant personnel who access workplaces are subject to disciplinary consequences. (Art. 1.7.)
The above provisions also apply to persons holding elective offices or top institutional positions. (Art. 1.11.)
Requirement of COVID-19 Green Certifications for Judicial Magistrates
Effective October 15, 2021, until December 31, 2021, ordinary, administrative, accounting, and military magistrates, as well as tax commission members, may not carry out their work if they do not possess and exhibit the COVID-19 green certification. (Art. 2.1.) The same provisions established for public sector employees also apply to judicial magistrates. (Arts. 2.2–2.6.)
Requirement of COVID-19 Green Certifications for Private Sector Workers
Also from October 15, 2021, until December 31, 2021, private sector workers must possess and exhibit, upon request, the COVID-19 green certification to access their workplaces. (Art. 3.2.)
In companies with fewer than 15 employees, after the fifth day of unjustified absence due to lack of COVID-19 green certification, the employer may suspend the worker for the duration of the employment contract and, in any case, for a period not exceeding 10 days. The suspension may be renewed one time only and no later than December 31, 2021. (Art. 3.7.)
Freelance professionals, domestic workers, and home caretakers are also included within the mandate.
Urgent Measures for the Administration of Rapid Antigen Tests
Pharmacies are required to ensure, until December 31, 2021, the administration of rapid antigen tests to detect the SARS-CoV-2 antigen. (Art. 4.1(b).)
Duration of COVID-19 Green Certifications
After the 14th day from the administration of the first dose of vaccine, persons who have previously tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 may receive the green COVID-19 certification, which is valid for 12 months from the date of recovery. (Art. 5.1(d).)
Contact Center Green Pass
In addition to the existing Service 1500-public utility number established to report COVID-related emergencies, the decree creates an additional service consisting of a Green Pass Contact Center. (Art. 7.1(a)(2).)
Additional Provisions on the Performance of Cultural, Sports, Social, and Recreational Activities
By September 30, 2021, the Scientific Technical Committee created by Order No. 630 of the Head of the Civil Protection Department on February 3, 2020, must issue its opinion on new rules affecting distancing, capacity, and protection in places where cultural, sports, social, and recreational activities take place, in view of the adoption of new regulatory measures that take into account the progress of the epidemic, the extension of the COVID-19 green certification obligation, and the evolution of the vaccination campaign. (Art. 8.1.)
Opposition to the COVID-19 Green Certification MandateItalian public opinion is divided concerning the new COVID-19 green certification mandate. While government statistics show that only around “15% of private and 8% of public sector workers have no green pass,” large groups of citizens have recently turned to the streets to voice their disapproval of the mandate.