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COVID-19 STATS

Italy marks over 105 million Covid ‘green pass’ downloads

More than 105 million green passes have been downloaded according to the latest government figures, showing citizens are "aware of its importance", according to a government health official.

Visitors to cultural sites pose with their green passes in Rome.
Visitors to cultural sites pose with their green passes in Rome. Andreas SOLARO / AFP

Italy recorded a total of 105,569,806 ‘green pass’ downloads on Saturday, according to the latest data on the government’s certificazione verde Covid-19 portal.

The number marks an increase of over 878,000 green passes compared to the day before.

These figures mean “that citizens have become aware of the importance of this tool to continue on this path,” deputy Health Secretary Andrea Costa told RaiNews24.

“The silent majority of our country has prevailed, which, while politics debated the usefulness of the ‘green pass’, in the meantime [the population] has adhered to it,” he added.

Following the expanded green pass rules on October 15th, the number of green pass downloads hit a new record on Monday, with over one million ‘green passes’ downloaded in just one day.

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

Italy has completed its first working week under the newly extended health certificate rules, following a decree to make the health certificate mandatory by law for all workers in Italy to show a green pass to access any workplace – with steep fines in place for those not complying.

A ‘green pass’ is needed in all areas of work in Italy. (Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP)

Green passes are available to everyone who is vaccinated or recently recovered from Covid-19, but can also be obtained by getting a negative test, at the person’s own expense.

READ ALSO: Surge in sick days after Italy brings in workplace Covid green pass rule

While Italy’s latest health pass requirement has prompted an increase in vaccinations, the download figures show the vast majority continue to take a Covid test instead.

Friday’s figures reveal that out of a total of almost 878,000 downloaded ‘green passes’, over 661,000 were granted following taking a swab test (tampone), while some 213,000 green passes were downloaded following vaccination.

Only just under 4,000 health certificates were generated as a result of proof of having recovered from Covid-19.

Those who refuse to be vaccinated will mostly only be able to attend work if they pay for their own tests either every 48 or 72 hours, depending on the type.

Those vaccinated are covered for 12 months after completion of the vaccination cycle, or if it’s their first shot, their green pass is valid until they get their second dose.

The pass requirement has already been in place for school and university employees and care home workers since September, and a vaccine mandate has been in place since April for anyone working in healthcare, including in pharmacies and doctors’ offices.

People gather during a protest against the green pass in Milan on October 16, 2021.

People gathered during a protest against the green pass across Italy when it was extended even further. Piero CRUCIATTI / AFP

Covid cases are increasing among healthcare workers

Meanwhile, the number of Covid-19 cases among health workers is rising. This week 371 cases have been recorded compared to 306 in the previous week, making up 3.6% of the total number of cases in the population, according to the latest extended surveillance report by the Higher Health Institute (ISS).

READ ALSO:

In total,144,812 cases of Covid-19 have been registered among healthcare workers, of which 1,444 in the last 30 days.

Analysing the trend in diagnosed cases among healthcare workers, the report stated, “In early July there was a slight increase in correspondence with the increase in the number of cases in the rest of the population.

“Since the second half of August, the number of cases diagnosed in the population has been falling sharply, while the number of weekly cases notified among healthcare workers has been increasing.”

The efficacy of anti-Covid vaccines “remains high” against the Alpha and Delta variants of the SarsCoV2 virus, although there is a slight drop in efficacy against Delta, according to the report.

The vaccine efficacy in preventing “any symptomatic or asymptomatic diagnosis of Covid-19 in fully vaccinated persons” decreased from 89% when the Alpha variant was prevalent to 79% during the Delta-variant epidemic phase.

Vaccination effectiveness in preventing diagnosis with subsequent hospitalisation “remains high”, however, at 92% (versus 95% in the Alpha phase).

In intensive care the efficacy stands at 95% for Delta phase vs 97% of Alpha phase and deaths are now 91% vs 97% in the Alpha phase.

The incidence rate over the period October 4th – 17th October shows a decrease throughout all of Italy’s regions, except for Valle d’Aosta.

Almost 82% of the Italian population over 12 years old have been vaccinated as of Saturday, according to the latest government figures.

Just under 46.5 million people in Italy have now received at least one dose.

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COVID-19 GREEN PASS

Italian government begins talks on Covid ‘super green pass’

Italy is set to tighten the rules on its health certificate scheme from December as Covid-19 contagion and hospitalisation rates continue to rise.

Employees in Italy must show Covid health passes to access workplaces.
Employees in Italy must show Covid health passes to access workplaces - but are the rules about to get stricter? Photo: Marco Bertorello/AFP

Note: This article is no longer being updated. Please find the latest news here.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi will hold a meeting with regional leaders on Monday evening, beginning several days of talks on a new government decree which is expected to be announced by Friday, reports national broadcaster Rai.

As the health situation has worsened across Italy in recent weeks – particularly in the north-eastern regions of Friuli Venezia Giulia, Veneto and the autonomous province of Bolzano – leaders of local governments are increasingly pushing for new measures, mainly in the form of further restrictions on the unvaccinated under a so-called “super green pass” scheme.

KEY POINTS: Italy’s new plans to contain the Covid fourth wave

Italy began rolling out its health certificate or ‘green pass’ for domestic use in August, initially making it a requirement at many leisure and cultural venues such as cinemas and indoor restaurants, before extending its use to workplaces and some forms of public transport. 

The certificate shows that the bearer has been vaccinated against Covid-19, has recovered from the disease within the last six months, or has tested negative in the last few days.

Instead, the proposed ‘super green pass’ would only be issued to those who are vaccinated or recovered, with passes issued based on testing in future only valid for entry to workplaces.

Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP

While no concrete decisions have yet been made, sources within the health ministry have indicated that it is considering the measure for any region declared a higher-risk ‘orange’ zone.

“Closures and restrictions must not be paid for by the vaccinated,” said Health Undersecretary Andrea Costa, adding that the ‘super green pass’ plan would “guarantee the unvaccinated access to workplaces and basic needs, but certain activities such as going to a restaurant, cinema or theatre should be reserved for the vaccinated if the situation worsens.”

“It is clear that we must bring in new initiatives,” he said in an interview with Sky TG24 on Sunday.

EXPLAINED: Will Italy bring in a Covid lockdown for the unvaccinated?

At the moment all of Italy remains in the lowest-risk ‘white’ zone, with few health measures in place.

However several regions are now nearing the thresholds at which they would be moved into the ‘yellow’ zone next week, and – if the situation continues to worsen – then risk being placed under orange zone restrictions two weeks later.

Costa said a planned third dose obligation for health workers “is already foreseen and I think it will be approved this week.”

Health Minister Roberto Speranza put forward proposals last week to make third doses obligatory for the healthcare staff already subject to a vaccine requirement, and also to cut the validity of Italy’s Covid-19 health certificate – the so-called green pass – from 12 to nine months for people who are vaccinated, including with a third dose.

READ ALSO: Italy to start Covid boosters for over-40s on Monday as infection rate rises

The changes have not yet been formally approved, but are expected to come in from December 1st under the planned new decree set to be signed into law by the end of the week.

Other measures the government is reportedly considering include cutting the validity of green passes based on PCR test results from 72 to 48 hours, and those from the results of rapid testing will be reduced from 48 to 24 hours.

There have also been calls from health experts and regional leaders to stop issuing green passes based on rapid test results altogether, as these are less reliable than the results of a PCR test.

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