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COVID-19 RULES

What are Italy’s new rules for Covid ‘yellow’ zones?

A total of seven Italian territories have been placed under ‘yellow’ zone restrictions, with more set to follow. As Italy imposes new nationwide restrictions for the unvaccinated, here’s how the rules have been updated for yellow zones.

Italy has updated its rules for  ‘yellow’ zone regions as the ‘super green pass’ requirement comes into force.
Italy has updated its rules for ‘yellow’ zone regions as the ‘super green pass’ requirement comes into force. Photo: Vincenzo PINTO / AFP

The Italian regions of Liguria, Marche, Veneto and the autonomous province of Trento have been placed in Italy’s ‘yellow’ zone from Monday December 20th along with three other regions as they exceeded the government’s thresholds for hospital occupancy and coronavirus infection rates.

The rest of the country remains for now in the least-restricted ‘white’ zone, although a number of regions are expected to enter the more-restricted yellow zone in the coming days as their infection rates climb.

The government also recently introduced newnationwide Covid restrictions for the unvaccinated, which mean that from December 6th a ‘reinforced’ Covid health certificate or ‘super green pass’ is required to access many venues and services across the country, with the rules around exactly where the pass is required varying for different zones.

READ ALSO: ‘Super green pass’: Italy brings in new Covid restrictions on unvaccinated

Face masks are required in all public spaces, including outdoors, in Italy’s yellow zones.

The government hopes its new Covid restrictions will enable Christmas to go ahead as planned. Vincenzo PINTO / AFP

The ‘super green pass’ is available only to those who are vaccinated against or have recovered from the virus – as opposed to the basic green pass, which can be obtained by testing negative for Covid every two to three days (depending on the type of test taken).

While the ‘super green pass’ is now required to access a large range of venues, the basic green pass is still valid in some circumstances, including to access public transport and to enter the workplace.

The government hopes the new requirements will increase vaccine uptake and enable vaccinated people in yellow and more restricted orange zones to go with life as normal in the lead up to Christmas.

At the time of writing, Italy’s health ministry has removed its official guidance relating to yellow, orange and red zone restrictions from its website. The Local has based this explainer on the government’s updated ‘super green pass’ guidance, and on Italian media reports.

Here’s what we know so far about Italy’s updated restrictions for yellow zone territories. We will update this page when the health ministry releases further official guidelines.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: How Italy’s Covid green pass rules change on Monday

Face masks

Unlike in the ‘white’ zone, yellow zone rules require face masks to be worn everywhere in public – including outdoors.

Eating out

Indoor dining can be accessed only by holders of the ‘super green pass’; however, dining outdoors at restaurants and eating and drinking while standing at the bar does not require any kind of pass.

Up till now, yellow zone rules have limited table sizes at restaurants to a maximum of four diners per table (unless all those seated were cohabiting).

The health ministry has not yet issued official guidance as to whether this rule will be maintained in yellow zones; however the Italian news daily La Repubblica reports that the four-diner-per-table limit is likely to be abolished with the introduction of the super green pass.

Customers can continue to dine outdoors in yellow zones without showing any kind of health pass.

Customers can continue to dine outdoors in yellow zones without showing any kind of health pass. Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP

READ ALSO: Q&A: How will Italy’s new Covid ‘super green pass’ work?

Hotels

A basic green pass is now required to stay at hotels.

Indoor dining at the hotel requires a ‘super green pass’ in cases where the restaurant is open to anyone (not just guests). 

In situations where the hotel restaurant is restricted to guests only, a basic green pass is all that’s required for indoor dining.

No pass of any kind is required to dine outdoors at hotel restaurants.

Curfew

As of December, no curfew is in place in yellow zones; everyone can freely circulate throughout the territory at any time of day or night.

Travel

Travel within and between white and yellow zones is unrestricted and does not require any justification.

Transport

A basic green pass is required to access all local and long-distance public transport. This includes local buses, trams, and metro services, as well as domestic flights, ferry journeys, and interregional train and coach services.

READ ALSO: Everything that changes in December in Italy

School buses carrying children under the age of 12, taxis, and private driver rentals for vehicles that have up to nine seats do not require any kind of pass; and you don’t need any kind of pass to travel in your own car.

Shops

Shops and shopping centres don’t require any kind of pass in the yellow zone.

Ski slopes, spas and thermal baths

A basic green pass is all that’s required in the yellow zone to gain access to these areas.

A woman has her green pass checked as ski resorts reopen in Bormio, Italian Alps, on December 4, 2021.

A woman has her green pass checked as ski resorts reopen in Bormio, Italian Alps, on December 4, 2021. Piero CRUCIATTI / AFP

Gyms and pools

A basic green pass is required in yellow zones to access indoor gyms, pools, and other sports facilities, as well as changing rooms.

For open air facilities, no pass of any kind is currently required.

Theatres, cinemas, concerts, clubs and discos

A ‘super green pass’ is now required to access any of these in the yellow zone.

Sports events

A ‘super green pass’ is also required to attend sporting events and matches.

Museums, exhibits, cultural sites

A basic green pass will grant you access to any of these venues in the yellow zone.

Local authorities can decide to impose stricter rules at short notice. Always check the latest restrictions in your province or town: find out how here.

For further details about Italy’s current Covid-19 health measures please see the Italian Health Ministry’s website (available in English).

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COVID-19 RULES

Reader question: What are Italy’s Covid quarantine rules for travellers?

Italy's quarantine rules have changed so many times over the past couple of years, it can be hard to keep track. Here's the latest information on when and how visitors need to self-isolate.

Reader question: What are Italy's Covid quarantine rules for travellers?

Question: “One of your recent articles says you can exit quarantine by testing negative for the coronavirus. But you can also exit quarantine by obtaining a certificate of recovery from Covid-19… true?”

Unfortunately, official proof of having recovered from Covid-19 won’t get you out of the requirement to self-isolate if you test positive for Covid while visiting Italy – though it can shorten your quarantine period.

The health ministry’s current rules state that anyone who tests positive while in Italy is required to immediately self-isolate for a minimum of seven days: that’s if the person in question is fully vaccinated and boosted, or has completed their primary vaccination cycle, or was certified as being recovered from Covid less than 120 days ago.

That period is extended to 10 days for those who aren’t fully vaccinated and boosted, or those who recovered from Covid or completed their primary vaccination cycle more than 120 days ago.

In either case, the infected person must have been symptomless for at least three days in order to exit quarantine (with the exception of symptoms relating to a lost sense of taste or smell, which can persist for some time after the infection is over).

READ ALSO: Travel in Italy and Covid rules this summer: what to expect

The patient must also test negative for the virus via either a molecular (PCR) or rapid antigen test on the final day of the quarantine in order to be allowed out.

Read more about getting tested while in Italy in a separate article here.

Quarantined people who keep testing positive for the virus can be kept in self-isolation for a maximum of 21 days, at which point they will be automatically released.

Italy does not currently require visitors from any country to test negative in order to enter its borders, as long as they are fully boosted or were recently vaccinated/ have recently recovered from Covid.

READ ALSO: How tourists and visitors can get a coronavirus test in Italy

Some countries (including the US), however, do require people travelling from Italy to test negative before their departure – which means visitors at the tail end of their journey could be hit with the unpleasant surprise of finding out they need to quarantine for another week in Italy instead of heading home as planned.

It’s because of this rule that a number of The Local’s readers told us they wouldn’t be coming on holiday to Italy this summer, and intend to postpone for another year.

If you are planning on visiting Italy from a country that requires you to test negative for Covid prior to re-entry, it’s a good idea to consider what you would do and where you would go in the unlikely event you unexpectedly test positive.

Please note that The Local cannot advise on specific cases. For more information about how the rules may apply to you, see the Italian Health Ministry’s website or consult the Italian embassy in your country.

You can keep up with the latest updates via our homepage or Italian travel news section.

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