Nicholas Farrell Nicholas Farrell

Italy’s draconian vaccine laws are terrifyingly popular

A rare anti Covid pass protester takes to the streets (Getty images)

In early August, Italy banned the unvaccinated from most forms of social life, then most forms of travel and now most forms of work. The unvaccinated are pariahs.

Yet unlike in France, say, where hundreds of thousands have taken to the streets to protest against compulsory vaccine passports, in Italy hardly anyone has protested against ‘Il Green Pass’ which is now the most draconian in Europe.

The Italians have never been especially keen on liberty, and as a result liberty has never flourished in Italy. This, I think, explains why this removal the basic liberties – or rights, if we must – of unvaccinated Italians by Italy’s unelected premier Mario Draghi is so hugely popular.

On Thursday, Draghi’s government of national unity issued a new decree extending ‘Il Green Pass’ to the entire workforce: 23 million Italians. This will come into effect on 15 October.

The unvaccinated have already been banned since 6 August from most indoor public places such as bars, restaurants and gyms, plus many outdoor ones such as football stadiums and the Colosseum. And since 1 September from planes, ferries, inter-regional trains and coaches, plus universities (staff and students) and schools (staff only). The vaccine has been compulsory for health workers since April.

More or less the only communal activities the unvaccinated will now be allowed to do outside their homes are shopping – and mass.

There are so many laws and so much red tape that everyone is guilty of something

They can still get ‘Il Green Pass’ by paying for a Covid test every 48 hours – but presumably few are going to do that – or else if they have had Covid and can prove it.

That 75 per cent of Italians over the age of 12 are already fully vaccinated and 80 per cent are expected to be so by the end of this month has made no difference.

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