For members


What changes about life in Italy in September 2021?

From the expanded ‘green pass’ requirements to the return to school, here are the changes September 2021 will bring to Italy.

What changes about life in Italy in September 2021?
People enjoy the view from San Giorgio island in front of Venice's historical center. Ludovic MARIN / AFP

The long, hot Italian summer is now coming to an end and the rientro is imminent. As the country gets moving again in September, there are plenty of changes in store.

Some are confirmed, others still speculative, but each of the following may have an impact on your life in Italy soon. 

Here’s what to be aware of in the coming weeks.

Covid ‘green pass’ expansion

Proof of vaccination, testing or recovery via the certificazione verde or ‘green pass’ scheme has been required since August 6th in order to enter many cultural and leisure venues across Italy, including museums, theatres, gyms, and indoor seating in restaurants.

From September 1st the health pass will also become a requirement for teachers and other school staff, as well as on long-distance public transport including interregional trains and domestic flights.

Q&A: Your questions answered about Italy’s Covid health pass

For schools, this is a key part of the government’s strategy to ensure that pupils can learn in person, after constantly changing Covid restrictions kept them in and out of classrooms for much of the past 18 months – though some details remain to be finalised, such as who’ll be checking all those certificates every day.

The government is also considering a further expansion which would make the pass mandatory for employees at workplaces deemed essential, including public offices and supermarkets.

Photo: Andreas SOLARO / AFP

Some Italian regions risk new Covid restrictions

As of August 30th, Sicily became the first Italian region to be placed under yellow zone restrictions once more as new weekly cases and Covid hospitalisation rates rose.

Until then, all of Italy’s regions had been classified as a low-restriction ‘white zone’ since the end of June.

More regions are thought to be at risk of having restrictions re-imposed in the coming weeks. Calabria, and Sardinia are currently thought to be at the highest risk of moving into the yellow zone.

Yellow zone restrictions require that masks are worn in all public spaces, including outdoors, and that restaurants may only seat a maximum of four people per table (unless the group is co-habiting) though indoor dining is allowed, according to the Health Ministry.

However there is no evening curfew, and travel between Sicily and other Italian regions is not restricted.

‘Decisive’ month for vaccination campaign

The number of Covid-19 vaccines administered in Italy throughout August was up to 60% lower than in July. But despite the summer slowdown, authorities remain confident about meeting the goal of vaccinating 80 percent of the eligible population by September 30th.

Health ministry officials said this week that September “will be decisive” for the vaccination campaign, as the numbers of vaccinations and appointment bookings in the coming weeks should give a clearer understanding of how many people in Italy are refusing the vaccine.

Vaccination coverage by the end of the month will inform the health ministry’s decisions on whether and how to enforce new health measures if the infection rate continues to rise.

Photo: Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP

Schools return with mask requirements and distancing measures

The start of the school year will be staggered across Italy’s regions, with schools in South Tyrol the first to reopen on September 6th, followed by re-openings in Abruzzo, Basilicata, Emilia Romagna, Lazio, Lombardy, Piedmont, Trentino, Umbria, Valle d’Aosta and (elementary and middle school only) Veneto on September 13th; Sardinia on September 14th; Campania Liguria, Marche, Molise and Tuscany on September 15th; Friuli Venezia Giulia, Sicily and (high school only) Veneto on September 16th; and Calabria and Puglia bringing up the rear on September 20th.

Students from the age of six will still be required to wear masks in the classroom this year, while in nurseries and kindergartens only teachers will be need to be masked. Schools are expected to distribute masks to both staff and students.

EXPLAINED: What parents in Italy should know about new Covid rules in schools

To keep crowds to a minimum, only one parent will be allowed to accompany their child directly outside the school building for drop offs and pick ups, and schools will have separate designated entrance and exit zones.

In the event that a teacher or student tests positive for Covid, a quarantine of seven days will be triggered for classmates who are vaccinated, and ten days for the unvaccinated, with affected students moving to distance learning.

Photo: Vincenzo PINTO / AFP

Changes to the rules on travel from some non-EU countries

Rules for travel to Italy have changed in response to the developing coronavirus situation. The Italian health ministry’s new travel ordinance came into force at the end of August, tightening restrictions on travel from some countries, and lifting them for others.

New restrictions on arrivals from the US, Canada, Japan and Israel mean they must now show proof of vaccination AND testing.

Meanwhile the quarantine rule for UK travellers was lifted, providing they can show proof of vaccination and testing.

Find more details here about the major changes to be aware of if you’re visiting or returning to Italy in September.

New travel restrictions for EU citizens travelling to the UK

September 30th will be the last day that EU citizens will be allowed to enter the UK using their EU identity cards, unless they meet certain criteria such as having settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme or having a frontier worker permit.

If you are travelling to the UK with an Italian partner, friend or relative from October 1st onwards, remind them that they will need a passport.

Member comments

  1. The concept of selling off deserted villages to private interests will possibly restore the villages to some degree of habitability if enough money is put into their restoration. It will also, should there be a change in property values, benefit the private investors.
    Deserted villages are not just about houses in which to live. They are questions. Why did the village become deserted in the first place…
    Access, ( height above sea level, transport connections etc, distance from major conurbations…. distance from friends and family.)
    Facilities. The loss of shops, bars, schools, doctors and other communal resources… for the elderly, the young, especially babies and their local health care.

    A more localised, communal and socially organised answer to the loss of villages, even State sponsored or EU sponsored, and dare I say, even CHURCH sponsored initiatives, would be of more benefit to local communities living in or near lost villages and towns. Organise options, don’t privatise the beauty of Italian villages and towns.

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For members


What you need to know about microchipping your pet in Italy

Microchipping is required for all dogs in Italy, as well as for cats and ferrets kept as pets in certain circumstances. Here's what pet owners need to know.

What you need to know about microchipping your pet in Italy

Under Italian law, all dogs in the country must be identified and registered on a national database.

For dogs born before 2004, a clearly legible tattoo (e.g., on the dog’s ear) is accepted in lieu of a microchip. For those born after, microchips are the only accepted form of identification.

The chip should be inserted within two months of the dog’s birth; owners who miss this deadline could incur fines amounting to several hundred euros.

READ ALSO: From barking to cleaning: The culture shocks to expect if you own a dog in Italy

The chip is small – similar in width to a grain of rice and about twice as long – and is inserted just under the skin with a needle slightly thicker than that used for injections. It might cause minor discomfort in the moment, but shouldn’t hurt.

A microchip is not a GPS tracker, so can’t be used to find missing dogs – but it does contain key information about the dog as well as the owner’s contact details, allowing lost dogs to easily be reunited with their families.

The procedure can be performed by a vet from the local health authority (Azienda Sanitaria Locale, or Asl) or an authorised independent vet. The cost varies between regions, but you’ll generally be charged around €10-25 at the Asl and €20-50 at a private practice.

Your vet will then enter your dog into the national registry with their microchip number and your tax code (codice fiscale). The registry entry will include mention of the dog’s name, gender, breed, size, age and colour, and the owner’s name, address, and telephone number.

READ ALSO: Moving to Italy with pets? Here’s what you need to know

If a dog gets a new owner, the national database should be updated within fifteen days of the transfer. Your vet will provide an ownership transfer form which should be signed by both the old and new owner and filled out with the new owner’s details.

Italy doesn’t have a blanket requirement for any pets other than dogs to be microchipped, but it’s still required in some circumstances.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: Do renters in Italy have the right to keep pets?

Cats and ferrets kept as pets (as well as dogs) brought into Italy from outside the country must also be marked with a 15-digit ISO 11784/11785 compliant microchip, or with a clearly legible tattoo if it was applied before July 3rd, 2011.

If you’re resident in Italy and want to take your pet cat or ferret on holiday abroad, they’ll also need to be microchipped in order to receive a ‘pet passport’ to allow them to travel in and out of the country.

While Italy does not have national laws requiring cats to be microchipped, each region has its own rules – so you’ll want to check what the law is in your local area.

Lombardy, for example, made it obligatory on January 1st, 2020 for all cats in its territory born after that date to get chipped.

Regardless of whether it’s a legal requirement, many people opt to have their cat microchipped to make sure they stand the best chance of being reunited in case their pet wanders a little too far from home and loses their way.