Italy will be the first country in Europe to impose an obligation on private and public sector employees to show evidence of a coronavirus vaccination or negative test results.
Prime Minister Mario Draghi's government on Thursday decided to expand the country's existing "green pass," meaning that those who cannot show a certificate - which can also show recovery from COVID-19 in the previous six months - are no longer allowed to go to work in offices, shops or restaurants from October 15.
In Italy, 75 per cent of people over the age of 12 had been vaccinated.
Draghi pushed through the new decree despite protests from trade unions and some of the country's populist parties.
In the consultations with the head of government, they unsuccessfully demanded that COVID-19 tests should remain free as an alternative to vaccinations.
Draghi's cabinet, however, decided that tests for adults will be capped at 15 euros ($A24) while tests for children will be capped at 8 euros.
Violations of the rules will be punished severely.
Anyone who does not have a green pass and therefore does not appear for work can be let go without payment.
In some areas, such as schools, the green pass is already compulsory.
Employers who do not carry out controls face fines of up to 1500 euros.
Australian Associated Press