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Italy makes COVID 'Green Pass' mandatory for public venue access

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By Josephine Joly
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Visitors show their Covid-19 certificates before entering the Ancient Colosseum in Rome on August 6, 2021, as Italy made the Green Pass compulsory.
Visitors show their Covid-19 certificates before entering the Ancient Colosseum in Rome on August 6, 2021, as Italy made the Green Pass compulsory.   -   Copyright  ANDREAS SOLARO / AFP
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A digital COVID-19 certificate with a QR code will be mandatory in Italy's restaurants and other public spaces from Friday, as the government works to curb infections.

The Green Pass, will be compulsory to enter any restaurants or other closed spaces, including gyms, cinemas and theatres. Long distance travel will also require proof of vaccination or a negative test.

People who don't respect the rules will face heavy fines from €400 up to €1000.

Only Italian students and teachers who have the pass will be allowed in schools and universities. The certificate will be available in both paper and digital formats.

"We are committed to do our best to reopen schools safely in September and for classes to be in-person. With this new law we order a compulsory Green Pass as a requirement to access schools for all staff members," Roberto Speranza, Italy's Minister of Health, said.

School staff who are without passes for five days straight will be suspended and have their pay frozen, Italian media reported.

Protests against the 'Green Pass' had been observed across Italy, with mask-less protesters waving banners reading: “Green Pass dictatorial measure" and "We are for yes to freedom”.

But the turnout at the rallies was lower than what organisers had been hoping for.

Italy now joins several other EU countries requiring such proof of status. France has already introduced a similar health pass, and will expand the requirement from Monday for access to restaurants, bars, planes and trains.

Austria, Cyprus and Denmark are among the other EU countries which have launched similar schemes.

Watch the full video report in the player above.