Coronavirus: Italy brings in Covid certificate amid spike in infections

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People walk without face masks in Rome, Italy. Photo: June 2021Image source, Reuters
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About half of Italians are now fully vaccinated - but many are missing their appointments because of the summer holiday season

Italy is introducing a mandatory Covid vaccination certificate from 6 August, the latest country in Europe to announce such a scheme.

The move will allow those aged 12 and over who have received at least one jab to access a range of venues, including indoor restaurants, cinemas and gyms.

However, after disagreements within the governing coalition, the pass will not be needed for transport.

The virus is surging again in Italy, driven by the delta variant.

The number of new cases doubled over the past week, with more than 5,000 infections reported on Thursday.

The so-called Green Pass, either in digital or paper form, will also be valid for anyone who has had a negative test within the previous 48 hours or who has recovered from Covid in the past six months.

About half of Italians are now fully vaccinated - but the summer holiday season is dissuading some to turn up for their appointments, says the BBC's Mark Lowen, in Rome.

Italy has confirmed more than 4.3 million infections since the start of the outbreak, with nearly 128,000 Covid-related deaths.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi has condemned right-wing politicians who have discouraged young people from being jabbed.

He said it was as "a call for people to die".

Correction 28 October 2021: This article has been updated to make clear that the Green Pass will also be valid for people who have tested negative for Covid-19 or have recovered from the virus.