Covid crowd restrictions to be relaxed as Italy nears vaccination target

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Covid crowd restrictions to be relaxed as Italy nears vaccination target
Spectators, observing social distances, wait for the start of a screening at Quattro Fontane cinema, as cinemas partially reopened amidst the coronavirus virus, in central Rome on April 26, 2021. - Bars, restaurants, cinemas and concert halls partially reopened across Italy on April 26 in a boost for coronavirus-hit businesses, as parliament debates the government's 220-billion-euro ($266-billion) EU-funded recovery plan. (Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP)

Italy’s government is poised to lift more coronavirus-related restrictions for those with a green pass - but changes in the coming weeks will depend on the vaccination rate.


The Italian government’s scientific advisory panel has given the green light to plans to increase the maximum allowed capacity at stadiums, cinemas and theatres - as long as everyone in the crowd can show the Covid-19 health certificate, or green pass.

Sports stadiums will be able to sell tickets up to 75% of their full capacity, compared to 50% at the moment, while cinemas and theatres will be allowed to go up to 80%, according to news agency Ansa.

READ ALSO: Which regions in Italy have already met national vaccination targets?

There will be "no capacity restrictions for museums", Ansa writes, although social distancing rules will stay in place.

There was no mention of reopening discos and nightclubs.

While the plan has approval and looks likely to go ahead in the coming weeks, it has not been officially announced by the government.


The health ministry is set to make an announcement in the coming days about any rule changes to come in October - with vaccination coverage one of the key factors the health ministry will take into account when making decisions.

READ ALSO: Where do you now need to show a Covid green pass in Italy?

Thursday, September 30th, marks the deadline Italy’s government has set for having 80 percent of the population over 12 fully vaccinated.

With 78.5 percent coverage recorded at the last update to official figures on Wednesday evening, Italy is tantalisingly close to reaching the target – with some regions doing better than others.

Health ministry officials said September was the “decisive” month for the vaccination campaign, as the numbers of vaccinations and appointment bookings would show how high Italy’s rates of vaccine refusal are, and therefore what sort of public health measures would be needed.

The Italian government is also considering whether to make vaccinations mandatory for more groups if it decides the rate of vaccination in the country is too low, and has said it will make a decision by the beginning of October.

From October 15th, Italy's green pass will become mandatory in all workplaces.

The document, which is proof of vaccination against Covid-19, recovery or a recent negative test result, is already a requirement at many cultural and leisure venues in Italy as well as on long-distance public transport.


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