Prato in Italy where chinese community feel penalised

Chinese community in Italy feels penalised by Covid Green Pass rules

Coronavirus News

One of Italy’s largest Chinese communities says it is being unfairly penalised by the government’s mandatory COVID Green Pass. It has asked the authorities for a flexible interpretation of the rules.

The mandatory Green Pass for workers ruling triggered protests in several Italian cities. It was enforceable from Oct 15.

The latest complaints come from the 25,000-strong Chinese community in the Tuscan city of Prato. The community grew up around the local textile industry.

Not with an Italy-approved vaccine

Many of the Chinese in Prato were inoculated in China with the Chinese vaccine Sinovac. This does not qualify them for the Green Pass.

The head of Prato’s Chinese community, Luca Zhou Long, wrote to Tuscany’s President Eugenio Giani asking him to resolve “the bureaucratic hurdle”. Currently, this prevents many Chinese from going to work.

“It is clear this situation involves considerable difficulties for production, not due to a lack of vaccination but due to the impossibility to obtain the certificate,” Long wrote in the letter made public on Tuesday.

The only vaccines recognised by Italy for the purposes of the Green Pass are Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca. Prime Minister Mario Draghi personally expressed scepticism over Sinovac. “The Chinese vaccine … has shown itself not to be adequate,” he said in June.

Chinese community hope for ‘San Marino deal’

Neither the government nor the Tuscan authorities have so far responded to Long’s appeal.  Prato’s Chinese community, however, draw hope from a similar case involving San Marino.

The tiny landlocked republic of San Marino in northern Italy, authorised the use of the Russian vaccine Sputnik. This week, Rome ruled that residents of San Marino who work in Italy and took the Russian shot would be exempt from having to carry a Green Pass until Dec 31.

The state of emergency in Italy ends at the end of the year. The government has hinted it will reassess the scope of the Green Pass in the new year.

This shows an unbalanced approach by the Italian government, not least because Sputnik is not approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

So far, the WHO has approved the following vaccines:

  • Moderna
  • Pfizer/BioNTech
  • Janssen (Johnson & Johnson)
  • AstraZeneca, including Covishield
  • Sinopharm (Beijing)
  • Sinovac

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