(Bloomberg) -- Italy is doubling down on vaccine passports.
Following a decision to limit access to activities like indoor dining to holders of a “green pass” beginning Friday, the Rome-based government is now set to apply new restrictions on travel and schools.
The administration led by Mario Draghi is now due to introduce the compulsory use of the pass -- which demonstrates Covid-19 immunity or a recent negative test -- for long-haul air, rail and ferry travel starting in September, according to a government official.
The decision is expected to be approved at a cabinet meeting scheduled for Thursday evening, according to the official, who asked not to be named discussing confidential deliberations
Italy has fully vaccinated more than 60% of its eligible population, but like many European nations, it’s facing a steady rise in cases and hospital admissions driven by the Delta variant. Countries including France and Germany have already imposed restrictions on unvaccinated people.
While Italy’s measures covering schools -- where teachers will need to have the pass -- and travel won’t go into effect until next month, already from Friday anyone over the age of 12 will need a certificate to dine indoors at restaurants, enter theaters, stadiums, cinemas and museums, or go to a gym.
Italy’s new cases rose to 6,596 Wednesday, a 15% increase from the previous week. Popular summer destinations are bearing the brunt of the spike in infections, with the islands of Sardinia and Sicily seeing the biggest surge.
The green pass will be available only to people who’ve received at least one vaccine shot, can demonstrate they’ve recovered from Covid, or are able to show a negative test result no older than 48 hours.
Draghi’s campaign to tighten restrictions and encourage Italians to get vaccinated has met strong resistance from conservative political forces, with Matteo Salvini’s League party leading the pushback against the new rules. The League, which backs Draghi’s government, has been losing ground to rightist opposition party Brothers of Italy.
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.