The Law Decree n. 1/2022 on “Urgent measures to deal with the Covid-19 emergency, particularly in workplaces, schools and higher education institutions” provides for a series of measures, in particular, the mandatory possession of a green pass for persons over 50.
I. Regulatory background
Law Decree No. 127/2021
The mentioned Decree introduced the Green Pass obligation for accessing the workplace, both in the public and private sector. The Green Pass possession obligation for entering the workplace – that is, to “possess and exhibit, upon request, the green Covid-19 certification” – had limited temporal effectiveness to the period between 15 October 2021 and 31 December 2021.
The decree issued by the Prime Minister on 12 October 2021
The mentioned decree provided public and private employers with further IT tools allowing daily and automated verification of the possession of certifications, in addition to the VerificaC19 app, which is the official app through which the barcodes of the Green Pass of employees are scanned and verified.
Decree Law No. 172/2021
The decree provided that, as of 15 December 2021, the administration of the booster dose following the primary vaccination cycle is mandatory, particularly for certain categories of workers (refer to par 3). The decree reduces the validity of Covid-19 green pass from 12 to 9 months.
Decree Law No. 221/2021
The state of emergency deliberated by the Prime Minister is extended to 31 March 2022. It became also mandatory wearing a mask even outdoors until 31 January 2022. Until the end of the state of emergency, it is even mandatory to wear FFP2 masks at shows open to the public that take place outdoors and indoors in theatres, concert halls (and other assimilated places) and for sports events and competitions that take place indoors or outdoors. The decree reduced the validity of Covid-19 green from 9 to 6 months from 1 February 2022.
II. Mandatory possession of Enhanced Green Pass for over 50
For the time being there are three different types of green pass
Basic green pass: refers to Covid-19 Green Certification for vaccination, healing or a test rapid antigen or molecular with a negative result.
Enhanced Green Pass: refers to the Covid-19 Green Certification for vaccination or healing. Therefore, the enhanced green pass does not include the performance of a rapid or molecular antigenic test.
Green pass booster: refers to the Covid-19 Green Certification issued after the administration of the booster dose, after the completion of the primary vaccine cycle.
From 30 December 2021 to 31 March 2022, visitors to residential, medical and hospice facilities will be allowed to enter only with a green booster pass, issued after the booster dose has been administered. Those who have not yet had a booster dose may use the green pass from the completed primary vaccine cycle or the cure, but must concurrently present a document, paper or digital, of a rapid antigenic or molecular test, performed in the previous 48 hours, certifying the negative result to SARS-CoV-2.
Decree Law No. 1/2022
It provides urgent measures to slow down the contagions and provide greater protection to the most exposed groups at high risk of hospitalisation. The obligation to vaccinate refers to all residents in Italy, including European citizens and foreigners, who have reached 50 years of age or will reach the age within 15 June 2022. Exempted people remain regulated from previous laws (i.e. cases of established danger to health, that must be verified concerning specific documented clinical conditions, certified by the general practitioner or doctor). The Decree will be mandatory from 15 February 2022, for public and private workers as well as unemployed people who are 50 years of age or will be 50 years of age by 15 June 2022.
III. Sanctions in case of breach of Decree Law 1/2022
For workers who are 50 years of age or will be 50 years of age by 15 June 2022, and who enter the workplace without an Enhanced Green Pass, the administrative penalty is the payment of a sum of between €600 and €1,500, without prejudice to the disciplinary consequences by the respective sector regulations.
In the event of non-compliance with the vaccination requirement for all those aged 50 or over, a fine of €100 shall be imposed in “one of the following cases:
- individuals who on 1 February 2022 have not started the primary vaccination cycle;
- individuals who, as of 10 February 2022, have not completed the primary vaccination cycle in accordance with the instructions and within the time limits set out in the circular letter issued by the Ministry of Health;
- individuals who, as of 10 February 2022, have not carried out the booster dose following the primary vaccination cycle within the terms of validity of the Covid-19 green certificates provided for by Article 9, paragraph 3, of Decree Law 52/2021, converted, with amendments, by Law 87/2021.
The Decree also specifies that the pecuniary administrative sanction of €100 shall also apply in the event of non-compliance with the vaccination requirement by healthcare professionals, workers employed in residential, socio-assistance and socio-healthcare facilities, school staff, the defence, security and public rescue sector, local police, the bodies referred to in Law no. 124/2007, the facilities referred to in article 8-ter of Legislative Decree no. 502/1992 and penitentiary institutions.
Workers reporting that they do not have Enhanced Green Pass or do not have it by the entrance to the workplace, will be considered unjustified absentees, without disciplinary consequences and with the right to retain their employment, until they present their Enhanced Green Pass and, in any case, no later than 15 June 2022.
Key Action Points for Human Resources and In-house Counsel
- Mandatory possession of green passes for public and private workers who are 50 years of age or will be 50 years of age by 15 June 2022.
- Differences between the green passes and how to obtain them.