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Italian senator suspended for going to work without Covid green pass

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AFP/The Local - [email protected]
Italian senator suspended for going to work without Covid green pass
Protesters hold placards before a demonstration in piazza del popolo in Rome, on July 28, 2021, against the introduction of a mandatory 'green pass'. - Italy on July 22 said a health pass would be mandatory for people wishing to access bars, restaurants, swimming pools, sports facilities, museums and theatres from August 6. (Photo by Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP)

An Italian senator was suspended on Tuesday for ten days after entering the Senate building in Rome without a green pass, which is now required in all workplaces.

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Laura Granato, a former member of the once anti-establishment Five StarMovement (M5S) who has since joined a breakaway group, will be deprived of her daily allowance for the ten days.

The 51-year-old was allowed into the Senate but later reported for refusing to show her "green pass", the Italian health certificate which offers proof of a coronavirus vaccination, negative test result or recent recovery from Covid-19.

READ ALSO: How Italy is enforcing the new workplace green pass rules

She had been due to attend a parliamentary meeting on the Green Pass, which she described to reporters as a "certificate of obedience".

Since Friday, the pass has been required of all public and private sector workers under some of the toughest health measures in the world.

The green pass is intended to boost vaccination rates, keep infections down and help Italy avoid the need for further economically damaging shutdowns, the government has said.

EXPLAINED: Where do you now need to show a Covid green pass in Italy?

The measure sparked pockets of protest in cities around Italy over the weekend, with the largest demonstration held by dock workers in the northeastern city of Trieste attracting around 6,500 people.

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Meanwhile, more than a million Covid 'green passes' were downloaded on Monday as Italy began its first working week under the newly extended health certificate rules.

While the latest extension of Italy's health pass requirement has prompted a slight increase in vaccinations, the download figures showed the vast majority chose to take a Covid test instead - around nine in ten of the passes released on Monday came from a swab rather than a jab.

Almost 86 percent of Italians over the age of 12 have received at least one vaccine dose and 81 percent are fully vaccinated, but at least three million workers are believed to remain unvaccinated.

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