Italians may be forced to present a vaccination passport to board high-speed trains as the government considers only allowing passengers with the pass to increase capacity, a development with obvious echoes of China’s long-established social credit system.
Trenitalia, the government-owned company that runs much of the national railway system in Italy, can currently only run trains at 50 per cent capacity. But that could change to 100 per cent in the coming days as the government considers making a “green pass” mandatory for high-speed rail travel.
According to a report from the newspaper Il Giornale, the government is set to decide on the new measures for Trenitalia trains in the coming days.
The Italian Green Pass will be available to those fully vaccinated against the Wuhan coronavirus, those who can prove they contracted the virus and recovered from it, and those who have certification from a doctor that proves a negative test result.
Trenitalia is also said to be looking at creating space or bulkheads between train cabins to keep passengers separated.
The private railway company Italo, meanwhile, has installed filters aboard its trains capable of circulating air and reducing the risk of air droplets, a system similar to that used on aeroplanes.
Coronavirus Passports: Greece to Give More Freedom to Vaccinated People https://t.co/30qUG21dWk
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The filter system has allowed Italo to maintain maximum capacity aboard their trains without passengers needing to present a Green Pass.
Limiting the ability to use high-speed rail, as well as air travel, has been a major part of China’s social credit system for years. The system is said to rank Chinese citizens by their desirability and those who score too poorly are excluded from life opportunities, and even basic access to services. In 2018, Chinese media reported that millions of people had been denied access to air travel and rail travel due to the social credit system.
A later report from 2019 revealed that the social credit system had blacklisted more than 10 million Chinese, noting that “as of March, 13.49 million individuals have been classified as untrustworthy and rejected access to 20.47 million plane tickets and 5.71 million high-speed train tickets for being dishonest”.
Vaccine passports are also being touted in Greece as giving people “more freedom” as the government in Greece announced a scheme that would allow businesses to operate at full capacity if they only served those who had been vaccinated, while placing restrictions on businesses that wanted to serve everyone.