All Serie A players will have to be fully vaccinated if they want to continue playing in the Italian top flight as the country’s government plan to impose stricter Covid-19 laws.
The emergence of the Omicron variant has kick-started a new wave across Europe and Italian ministers have drawn up fresh plans in an attempt to limit transmission and ease the strain on hospitals.
As noted by La Gazzetta dello Sport, there will be new rules which impact football in Italy, with the government demanding that anybody who wants to enter a sporting arena – gyms, stadiums, locker rooms, swimming pools etc – must be fully vaccinated or have recovered from Covid-19 in the past few weeks.
Top-flight footballers will not be given an exemption and have been told that, unless they have recently overcome the virus, they must be fully vaccinated if they want to continue playing in Italy at any level.
That should not be a significant problem in Serie A, where 98% of players were fulling vaccinated as of 17 December.
Juventus centre-back Giorgio Chiellini is one of many to use his platform to encourage the Italian population to get vaccinated, writing on Twitter: “Let’s all play our part and get vaccinated for ourselves and to protect the most fragile people.”
Stadiums will also be limited to 50% capacity under the new rules, which will come into effect on January 10, 2022. The idea of dropping to just 5,000 fans was suggested but ultimately dismissed.
The Italian top flight boasts the highest vaccination rate across Europe’s major leagues. Their 98% trumps the Premier League, in which around 68% of players have received both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.
The English Football League also recently confirmed that 25% of players had voiced their intention not to get vaccinated against the virus.