To halt the Covid-19's rapid spread, Mario Draghi wants to mandate immunization for all Italian employees. The unions want that he assign government workers to telework.

Covid in Italy
[Milan, Italy]

The Italian government is planning to make vaccination required for employment. A Council of Ministers meeting this Wednesday should extend the necessity of the enhanced health pass to all employees no later than the beginning of February. The policy will have an impact on 23 million workers in both the public and private sectors. They have already had to show documentation that they have been vaccinated or treated of Covid-19 since October.

However, a negative test result within the last 48 hours is sufficient to free them from this responsibility. Nonetheless, Mario Draghi is concerned about substantial opposition in crucial areas of the country's economy, notably in the north of the peninsula, where the No Vax campaign is still active.

In France, the executive has rejected the health pass in business, and hence obligatory vaccination in the workplace, in the face of union and employer opposition. However, it is a metric that is starting to be used elsewhere. Since December 27, all workers of private firms in New York have been required to justify at least one dosage of Covid vaccination.

Teleworking must become the norm in Italy 

On the occasion of the end-of-year celebrations in Italy, the applicability of the health pass has already been extended. It is necessary to access most public venues and to take public transportation. The Technical and Scientific Committee is currently urging its implementation in the workplace. This will aid in the immunization of the 6 million people who have yet to be immunized.

The push to reinstate teleworking is also strong: it must "become the standard," according to Walter Ricciardi, an assistant to Health Minister Roberto Speranza. The infection goes with individuals, and the more they work remotely, the less it spreads." It is presently spreading like wildfire, with the number of patients infected increasing 163 percent in a week.

To arrest this trend, the unions have written to the President of the Council, Mario Draghi, as well as the Ministers of Public Service and Health, requesting that government servants be subjected to telework once again. "In times of health crises, this should be a must, not a compromise," they argue.

The Minister of Civil Service's Crusade

A reaction to Renato Brunetta, Minister of Civil Service, who started a "anti-employment campaign" on October 15. He compelled the return to the office of around 3.2 million public administration personnel by order, notwithstanding his doubts about the usefulness of remote work. Nearly 7 million Italians were working from home at the height of the epidemic in 2020.

The new Covid-19 wave is already having a significant influence on the Italian economy. Over a million people have lately been afflicted and quarantined. The majority of them are between the ages of 30 and 59, which are the most productive age groups. Trenitalia has decreased the number of regional trains by 5%, and garbage collection services in the country's major cities are idling. Hospitals are also suffering a workforce shortage as 10,000 nurses test positive for Covid-19.

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