Italy on Monday barred the unvaccinated from a host of everyday activities, including hotels, restaurants and even public transportation unless able to prove they recently recovered from infection.
The strict rules require those who want to enter the venues or use public transportation to show their so-called Super Green Pass to certify that they have been vaccinated against the virus.
The restrictions extend to both indoor and outdoor restaurants and cafes, as well as ski lifts, resorts, gyms and all public transportation, including local buses.
Only those who have recently recovered are exempted from the rule, though it’s unclear how much time would have to pass for them to no longer have sufficient protection.
Until this week, citizens had been required to show proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test to use services throughout the European nation that was hit hardest in the initial coronavirus spread in 2020.
Italians also need to use medical-grade FFP2 masks — the European equivalent of N95 or KN95s — to go to theaters, cinemas, sports stadiums and on all public transport.
Premier Mario Draghi last week also mandated vaccinations for those 50 and older, with initial fines of $113 going up to nearly $1,800 from mid-February for any who go back to the workplace unjabbed.
“We must never lose sight of the fact that most of the problems we have today are because there are non-vaccinated people,” Draghi told a news conference Monday.
“For the umpteenth time, I invite all those Italians who are not yet vaccinated to do so, and to get the third shot.”
The strict rules were being enforced Monday by a large show at train stations to check passengers’ vaccine status and masks.
It comes as Italy has registered more than 100,000 new infections each day — but while many neighboring European nations are instead weakening restrictions in light of the apparent lesser threat of the dominant Omicron variant driving those figures.
Health Minister Roberto Speranza said 89.4% of all those age 12 and over had received at least one vaccine dose, yet the unvaccinated accounted for two-thirds of all the COVID patients in intensive care units.
The country on Monday reported 101,762 new cases and 227 additional deaths over the past 24 hours. Since the start of the pandemic, Italy has recorded nearly 7.5 million infections with close to 140,000 deaths.
In France, meanwhile, President Emmanuel Macron recently said he wanted to “piss off” the 5 million French people who are still not vaccinated.
With Post wires