A Italian man who wanted a coronavirus vaccine certificate without actually having the jab tried to play the system by presenting health workers with a fake arm.
Despite the realistic skin colour, nobody was fooled by the silicone limb, and the man – in his 50s – was reported to local police following the incident on Thursday night in Biella, northwest Italy.
“The case borders on the ridiculous, if it were not for the fact we are talking about a gesture of enormous gravity,” the head of the Piedmont regional government, Albert Cirio, said in a statement on Facebook.
He said such an act was “unacceptable faced with the sacrifice that our entire community has paid during the pandemic, in terms of human lives, the social and economic cost.”
The fake arm incident comes ahead of a tightening of the rules Monday in Italy for people who have not yet been vaccinated against Covid-19.
Since August, a “Green Pass” showing proof of vaccination, recent recovery from coronavirus or a negative test has been required for indoor dining in restaurants, to visit museums, cinemas, theatres and attend sporting events.
But from December 6, these activities will be restricted to holders of a “Super Green Pass”, which is only available to those who have been vaccinated or recently had Covid-19.