Welcome to Italy's Green Pass nightmare

As of 6 August, the “Green Pass” immunity passport - officially “the COVID-19 Green Certificate” part of the EU Digital COVID Certificate scheme - is mandatory in a variety of public spaces across Italy. For the vast majority of Italians who have been vaccinated against COVID-19, obtaining the Green Pass has been as simple as receiving an email or text message with a code to download their certificate, or, alternatively, uploading their data on the government’s official website.

However, for some individuals whose status has not been recognised by the system, obtaining their certificate has been seriously problematic, dragging them into weeks of hurdles and uncertainty. As the Green Pass scheme will be further extended in the coming months, the anxiety felt by those caught in the system continues to grow - as many don’t know if and when their coveted certificate will finally arrive. Some commentators have described Italy's famed bureaucracy as Kafkaesque, but it would be more appropriate in some cases to eschew the Teutonic and make apposite comparisons to the Florentine poet Dante's circles of hell.

A large number of Italians in 2021 are trapped, it seems, in a bureaucratic nightmare where the COVID Green Pass is concerned. The Green Pass scheme has come under fire from certain politicians - especially on the right - who have accused it of being “discriminatory” and have staged protests against its implementation. Nevertheless, it is supported by the majority of Italians.

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