The contradictions between science and rules on the use of the green pass

The contradictions between science and rules on the use of the green pass

The green pass starts from a scientific approach but in some respects it can be perfected: from irrevocability for those who fall ill to different rules for similar activities

(photo: Daniela Holzer / Unsplash) Calibrate precisely for which activities it is not easy to have a green pass for which it may remain superfluous. All the more so if it is then necessary to find a normative formulation that allows to take into account all the possible contagion opportunities to be contained. However, in its version 1.0, the Italian green certificate shows a good number of distortions and contradictions, some of which emerged even before its effective entry into force and others that are emerging day after day. A very hot topic, especially in view of the revisions to the legislation that could come into force in the next few weeks, probably from September.

A balance has been found - with some distortions - on the question of who should control the green passes and who identity documents certifying its authenticity, the most sore point now seems to be the distinction between the activities that require certification and those in which it is not necessary. And even if in many cases it is clear that the rules have been developed by finding a compromise between scientific basis, logic and practical application of the controls, in fact the result is that activities with a higher risk of contagion are free from constraints while others with far fewer close contacts remain rigorously subjected to the pass.

Positive and authorized

Before making a roundup of specific examples, there is a more general theme on the technical-IT functioning of the green pass that deserves a note in itself. If a person is sick with Covid-19 complete with a positive swab, but has already received the green certification, this continues to be valid and functioning. The reason, which we have told here on Wired in an in-depth analysis, is that for (declared) reasons of privacy the system does not allow you to temporarily suspend the validity of the green pass, and therefore the qr code remains recognized as authorized even for those who fall within the currently positive.

Technicalities aside, this means that the green pass guarantees, for example, to share the internal room of a restaurant with people who are vaccinated, recently recovered from Covid-19 or tested negative for a swab in 48 hours earlier, but it does not at all give certainty that the diners are actually negative for the virus at that time. Indeed, there could potentially be someone aware of their positivity.

At the moment we rely on common sense and correctness of people, that is, that those who are infected or in quarantine do not abuse their green pass despite this - at the IT level - continue to be valid. Common sense and fairness of people are also the principles on which the pass is checked in the premises but not the identity document, with the difference that in the latter case those in duty can notice the problem from a simple control of documents, while for those who were to use an authentic green pass during their positivity it would be necessary to cross-check with health databases to identify the problem.

Everyone at the counter

One one of the most obvious contradictions in the use of the green pass is the distinction between patrons of restaurants and especially bars who use the internal tables and those who lean on the counter. As is known, in the first case the certification must be shown, in the second no. Even leaving aside the fact that both categories of patrons very often share the same interior space, perhaps at a very short distance from each other, the main contradiction is that in practice the people at the counter are often much more crowded than those at the counter. tables.

With the paradox that on the one hand there are customers with green passes neatly seated in well-spaced tables and who take off their masks only after taking their seats and a few steps - in front of the counter - everything seems proceed exactly as in the pre-pandemic, with a selected clientele of people who consume without a mask and (depending on the influx of the moment) more or less spaced apart and without the obligation to show the required document to others.

Restaurants, canteens and hotels

Another distinction much discussed at the regulatory level, but not very relevant from a scientific point of view, is that between the different places where people can eat indoors. Whether it is the internal room of a pizzeria, the restaurant room of a hotel or the tables of the company canteen, from the point of view of the Sars-Cov-2 coronavirus it does not make much difference and the logic would like that the rules were the same for everyone. .

If with the Ferragosto weekend it seems to have been clarified (net of trade union issues) that the company canteen service is completely comparable to a restaurant, the difference still remains in the case of hotels. In practice, if a hundred customers want to sit inside a restaurant, they must show the green pass, but if those same customers stay overnight in the same hotel and then occupy the restaurant all together, then certification is not required. A measure that evidently stems from the desire to encourage tourism and not further affect the accommodation facilities, but which - it must be said - from a scientific point of view is not at all consistent with everything else.

The criterion is also questionable the non-mandatory nature of the green pass for those who work in the restaurant business. Waiters, cooks and attendants can always keep their masks on, sure, but they are also the people who stay longer in shared environments with customers, just like teachers at school or healthcare workers in hospitals.

Means of transport in fits and starts

The division between public transport that requires the green pass and those for which it is not necessary is also not well founded from a scientific point of view. In August no vehicle requires it, in September some do. No for regional trains, yes for high-speed trains. No for urban bus lines, yes for extra-urban ones. For the ferries yes, for the subways no. For airplanes yes, for trams no.

In this case the criterion is above all linked to the practicality of carrying out checks rather than based on the real risk of transmitting the virus. It cannot be explained otherwise, in fact, why no certification is required for gatherings on the subway, while the green pass is mandatory to stay on the open deck of a ferry. Or why in the notoriously crowded commuter trains there is no constraint, while the imposition of the pass applies to those who occupy a more orderly long-distance train that crosses Italy.

Contradictions to the open

Perhaps more than in any closed place, the contradictions of the green pass emerge in the open air. With differences that emerge evident and sometimes reach the levels of the grotesque, justifiable only by the fact that a certain activity includes an anti-Covid security officer or not, or whether or not it is an official event.

So to visit an external cultural site or follow an outdoor cultural event (a concert, a film screening, a festival ...) you need a green pass, mask and distance, while you don't need the green pass if you are sitting in a restaurant or in an outdoor bar.

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Coronavirus Government Health globalData.fldTopic = "Coronavirus, Government, Health"

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