Many migrants are finding it hard to access the COVID vaccination certificate known as the Green Pass | Photo: ANSA/Franco Cautillo
Many migrants are finding it hard to access the COVID vaccination certificate known as the Green Pass | Photo: ANSA/Franco Cautillo

Many migrants in Italy are finding it hard or even impossible to get a Green Pass – the certificate of COVID-vaccination which they need in order to work. The aid group Intersos is trying to help.

The humanitarian organization Intersos reports that technical and bureaucratic obstacles are making it difficult for foreigners and the homeless to get a Green Pass, the paper document or app that proves a person has been fully vaccinated or recovered from COVID. Aid workers say that they have helped over 5,000 people get the certificate in the countryside of the Foggia area in southern Italy alone.

Meanwhile in Rome about 60 people have sought help from the association since the introduction of the certificate. "There are technical and bureaucratic obstacles that make it difficult or impossible for foreigners and the homeless to get a Green Pass. We have recruited so-called Green Pass Officers to help deal with the requests arriving from five regions. However, the institutions must ensure access to this tool," Intersos said in a statement.

A few days after a Green Pass became mandatory for workplaces, many people are finding it difficult to get it on their own. Those finding it hard are mostly those with what is known as a "Temporarily Present Foreigner" (STP) code or an Unregistered European (ENI) one, for whom downloading their Green Pass proving their vaccination status often proves complicated or impossible. Many of them are homeless.

Support for foreigners and the homeless

"We are supporting those who cannot download Green Passes both indirectly, through handing out flyers with the steps to follow, or directly in the procedure at information desks, either after directly being referred from the local health authority or at the vaccination hub," said Daniela Zitarosa, who leads Intersos activities in Italy's southeastern region Puglia, in which Foggia is located. She added that one of the problems is "a delay in signing up to the digital platform, though even after this many are unable to download the certificate for reasons we have not yet been able to understand."

Green Pass Officers

To meet this need, Intersos decided to recruit people to serve as what they call Green Pass Officers, who are helping people to get the certificate in five Italian regions: Calabria, Campania, Emilia-Romagna, Lazio, and Puglia.

"Access to vaccines is a recent, dramatic aspect of the more general problem of access to treatment for the weakest parts of the population," said Cesare Fermi, director for Europe of Intersos. He noted that Intersos "works daily to meet urgent needs that have emerged in this pandemic, and the obtaining of a Green Pass in time for ensured access to work is only one of them. Our teams continue to work in coordination with regional healthcare authorities for universal access to vaccines, and, more in general, healthcare."

 

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