Europe puts more pressure on unvaccinated, Italy features strictest requirements

The strictest rules apply in Italy, but all across Europe governments are making it harder for those who choose not to get vaccinated

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: Michal Sobotka, Daniel Drake, Novinky
This Saturday May 22, 2021 taken photo shows people sitting at the 'Wilde Renate' beer garden in Berlin, Germany. (AP Photo/Dorothee Thiesing)

On Monday, Germany tightened the rules for the unvaccinated, again, as it stopped paying individuals compensation for time spent in quarantine. It is, however, not the only European country rolling out new rules targeted primarily against the unvaccinated in an effort to make them get their Covid-19 vaccine shot.

In mid-October, Germany already canceled free Covid-19 tests, so everyone has to pay those tests out of pocket. Given that a negative test or proof of vaccination is required to enter cultural, sporting and dining locations, the unvaccinated will come under new financial pressure to receive a vaccine.

France also canceled free tests, arguing that every citizen already had the opportunity to get vaccinated. A Covid-19 test costs between €22 and €44. Compulsory vaccination in France applies to doctors, hospital staff, care centers, and firefighters.

Italy has probably the strictest regime. From mid-October, all workers there must show so-called green passports issued to vaccinated people or those tested for Covid-19. Anyone caught at work without this certificate is fined €600 to €1,500. Individuals who do not arrive at work because they do not have a green passport will lose their salary for each day they are not working. If the person concerned does not provide the green passport within five days from the first missed workday, the employer may fire him or her.

Antigen tests for Covid-19 are valid for two days in Italy, and people pay for the tests themselves. Prices range from €8 for minors and up to €15 for adults. During the usual working week from Monday to Friday, people have to take the test at least three times. That is up to twelve times a month. The price can climb up to €180 per month.

In the United Kingdom, there is an obligation to show a vaccination certificate or a negative test when entering all public buildings, restaurants, cinemas, and other businesses. Those who were sent to quarantine after contact with an infected person or those who have symptoms are entitled to Covid-19 leave days. Free tests are then only for those who show symptoms or come into contact with an infected person.

In Spain, testing for free is also only for those with Covid-19 symptoms. However, there is no obligation to prove one’s infectiousness when entering restaurants, etc., as this regulation has been annulled by a court in most regions.

In Austria’s Styria and Tyrol, the government has introduced the “2G rule” for so-called nighttime gastronomy, which includes bars, nightclubs, and discos. That means that only individuals that are fully vaccinated or have recovered from Covid-19 can attend. The unvaccinated are not allowed to attend events for over 500 people. However, the tests are still paid for by the state.

In Slovakia, the antigen test costs €5, the price of the PCR test ranges from €55 to €70. Up to two PCR tests per month should be reimbursed by the insurance company.

The Czech government also tightened the rules and the unvaccinated Czechs now have to pay for their tests. Health Minister Adam Vojtěch even called the current rise in cases the epidemic of the unvaccinated.

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