In recent weeks, the Italian authorities have introduced more and more measures aimed at encouraging the unvaccinated population to get a dose in a bid to curb rising infections and reduce pressure on Italy’s hospitals.
The government made it mandatory for the over 50s to get vaccinated, applicable from February 1st, while from February 15th, workers aged 50 and over will need to produce a ‘super green pass’, which shows the bearer is vaccinated against or recently recovered from Covid, to enter their workplace.
Other health measures include an extension to the ‘super green pass’, which has made vaccination (or recovery from the virus) mandatory to access most venues and services in Italy, including public transport, effective as of January 10th.
But Amnesty International has asked for alternative means to keep the virus under control, so that the unvaccinated can continue to go to work and use public transport “without discrimination”, it said in a statement.
Their proposals instead include the use of protective equipment and Covid-19 testing.
At the moment a negative test result will only provide a ‘basic green pass’, which is needed at workplaces (unless you’re in one of the categories subject to the vaccine mandate).
The basic green pass is also soon going to be a requirement to access hairdressers, barbers, banks, the post office and shopping centres.
The human rights group said the certificate “must be a time-limited device and the government must continue to ensure that the entire population can enjoy its fundamental rights, such as the right to education, work and treatment.”
Amnesty International has stated that it doesn’t support blanket mandatory vaccination mandates and has urged governments “to consider any mandatory vaccination requirements only as a last resort and if they are strictly in line with international human rights standards”.
It added that compulsory vaccination is sometimes justified, provided it is “established by law, deemed necessary and proportionate to a legitimate purpose related to the protection of public health”. Any vaccine mandates should be monitored, it added, “to ensure that these requirements do not result in human rights violations”.
The Italian authorities first introduced vaccine mandates in April last year, when a law was passed making it compulsory for all all healthcare workers in Italy.
It was subsequently extended to teachers, police and rescue workers and has most recently become a requirement for the over 50s.
Italy has been discussing mandatory vaccination for the general public for months in order to meet immunisation targets, but so far no such requirement has come into force.
Some 86.8 percent of the population over 12 years old have now completed a full vaccination cycle in Italy, the latest official figures show.