Italian government rules that people aged 50 and over must be vaccinated to go to work

Italian government rules that people aged 50 and over must be vaccinated to go to work
Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi's cabinet introduced tougher COVID-19 vaccination rules on Wednesday.Samantha Zucchi/Insidefoto/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images
  • Italy will mandate coronavirus vaccines for everyone 50 and older, it said Wednesday.
  • Workers will need to show proof of vaccination or recent recovery to access their workplace.

Italy is mandating COVID-19 vaccines for those aged 50 and older, its government announced Wednesday.

Both public and private-sector workers need to show that they have either been vaccinated or recently recovered from COVID-19 to access their workplace, from February 15.

Previously, people in this age group could also show a negative test to visit their workplace. This remains an option for people under 50.

Reuters reported that people who don't follow the rules will be suspended from work without pay, but won't be dismissed.

People aged 50 and over who aren't in employment need to get vaccinated or they could face sanctions, Politico reported.


The Italian government on Wednesday also introduced rules requiring proof of vaccination, recent recovery, or a negative test to access public offices, post offices, and banks.

The government introduced new measures designed to curb the spread of coronavirus cases in schools and universities, too. It added new rules governing the testing, mask-wearing, and closure protocols when a positive case has been identified in a school.

University staff are also required to be vaccinated or show proof of recent recovery from the coronavirus.

Italy had already mandated vaccines for health workers, teachers, and the police, The Guardian reported.

Coronavirus cases in Italy are soaring as the Omicron variant spreads, and the seven-day average of new cases confirmed each day reached a record 128,801 on Wednesday, per Our World in Data. At its previous peak, in November 2020, the seven-day average of daily confirmed new cases reached just over 35,000.


More than 6.7 million cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed in Italy since the start of the pandemic, putting the country at 111,915 cases per 1 million people, per Our World in Data.

At least 138,000 deaths have been reported in Italy. This is the second-highest death toll in Europe behind the UK.

Nearly three-quarters of Italians have been vaccinated against the virus, per Our World in Data. The Italian government says that it's also given out 21.5 million booster shots.

The Guardian reported that from Monday, people in Italy need to prove they've either been vaccinated or recently recovered from COVID-19 to dine indoors or outdoors at a restaurant, visit the gym, and use public transport.