In Italy, refusing COVID-19 treatment could land you in jail

In Italy, refusing COVID-19 treatment could land you in jail

Having been one of the most-affected nations in the world with a total of 34,869 deaths and 241,819 COVID-19 infections, Italy has been through hell and back this spring. To encourage people to be as safe as possible when it comes to spreading the coronavirus, the Italian region of Veneto is imposing a prison sentence for people who tested positive but who deny hospital treatment. Hospitals are even required to inform the public prosecutor’s office of anyone refusing admission after testing positive.

Moreover, for any citizens returning to the region after a business trip from outside the European Union or a non-Schengen country, two swab tests are compulsory. If you test positive and refuse admission for treatment, you could be in big trouble. Italian law states that anyone who negligently spreads an epidemic could face a prison sentence of up to 12 years, reports Reuters.

Veneto’s governor Luca Zaia said via a Facebook-streamed news briefing, “It is a way to partially compensate the national law that does not require isolation upon return from a non-EU country if the stay abroad lasts up to five days.”

Employers are heavily relied upon to enforce this rule and hold employees accountable. If an employee does not take the two swabs, employers could face a fine of $1,100 multiplied by the number of company employees.

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