Italy: Unvaccinated teachers not allowed to teach

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With the relaxation of Corona rules in Italy, unvaccinated teachers can return to work if they present a negative rapid test.

However, they are not allowed to come into contact with students and teach but can only be assigned to other tasks in the school, according to a decision by the Ministry of Education in Rome. The decision caused protests, and the ministry was threatened with several lawsuits.

Relaxations for unvaccinated contacts in force

According to the Ministry of Education, unvaccinated teachers are employed in school libraries and laboratories. They are to work 36 hours a week, twice as much as the teaching job currently provides. They will de facto be put on an equal footing with administrative staff. Previously, teachers who could not produce a 2G card were not allowed to work and were suspended from duty.

After relaxing the Corona restrictions, the Association of School Principals protested against the government’s decision. It said that the possibilities of using non-vaccinated teachers in the school system concretely were slight. The danger is that teachers are paid who de facto cannot work. The association also warned of a flood of lawsuits from unvaccinated teachers who would be deprived of the right to teach.

Education Secretary Rossano Sasso signaled a willingness to review the ministry’s regulation. “Teachers who undergo a smear test every 48 to 72 hours do not pose a risk to students. We are working to correct aspects of the law that contradict common sense,” the Secretary of State said.

In Italy, Thursday marks the end of the corona-related state of emergency imposed by the government in Rome more than two years ago – on 31 January 2020. With the expiry of the state of emergency, several anti-pandemic decrees of the government are based, and several relaxations of the Corona restrictions will come into force from Friday.

Italy is one of the last European countries to relax Corona regulations from April. On 1 April, the 2G requirement will be dropped in hotels, public transport, and shops. No more proof of vaccination, recovery, or tests will be required. Quarantine requirements will be almost wholly lifted: In the future, only infected persons will have to isolate themselves; contact persons may leave their homes.

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