James O'Brien 10am - 1pm
Italy bans unvaccinated from restaurants, theatres and museums ahead of Xmas
6 December 2021, 17:29 | Updated: 4 January 2022, 12:32
Italy has tightened restrictions for unvaccinated residents excluding them from indoor leisure activities in a bid to reduce the spread of coronavirus.
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The new rules mean those who have not been vaccinated will now be banned from indoor restaurants, theatres and museums in a bid to reduce the spread of coronavirus and encourage vaccine sceptics to get their shots.
Enforced from today, the new restrictions will last until January 15, to encourage residents to get their jab in time for the Christmas and New Year period.
Italian police are now allowed to check whether diners in restaurants or bars have a "super" green health pass certifying that they are either vaccinated or have recently recovered from the virus.
Smartphone applications that check people's health pass status will be updated and those who have merely tested negative in recent days for Covid-19 will no longer be allowed into concerts, movies or performances.
Also starting today, people must have a health pass to access local public transportation and stay in hotels - that can be acquired with a negative recent test.
With the Christmas shopping season heating up, many cities including Rome and Milan have ordered mask mandates even outdoors.
The move has caused panic amongst unvaccinated residents with one Italian man attempting to gain a super green health pass by using a fake arm to get a jab.
According to Italian publication La Repubblica, the man, aged in his 50s, arrived with a specially made silicone mould covering his real arm, hoping medics giving the jab wouldn't notice.
But it was spotted by the nurse administering the jab, who went on to alert the police. She told local media her suspicions were aroused by the "rubbery and cold" texture of the arm, saying the pigment was "too light".
The man was reported to the police for fraud and authorities confirmed they are now investigating the incident in Biella, north-west Italy.
The new Italian rules come after Germany and Austria announced they are making vaccines mandatory.
Elsewhere in Europe, Greece's announced monthly fines of 100 euros for all unjabbed over-60s from January 2022.
The country is introducing mandatory vaccines for the elderly after data revealed that more than 520,000 people in the age bracket were yet to get the jab.