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COVID-19 RULES

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

Unvaccinated people in Italy face restricted access to some services from Monday as the government tightens rules aimed at keeping infection rates down.

Visitors present their green passes at the entrance to Rome's Altare della Patria monument.
Visitors present their green passes at the entrance to Rome's Altare della Patria monument on December 5th. Photo: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP

Italy has been requiring a ‘green pass’ or health certificate within the country as well as for travel since August.

From Monday, a ‘super’ or rafforzato (strengthened) version of the green pass will only be available after vaccination or recovery, and no longer in case of a negative test result. It will be needed to attend sports events, concerts, theatres, indoor restaurants, and more.

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

The basic version of the green pass, which can also be obtained with a negative test result, will still be accepted in workplaces and on public transport. It will also now be required at hotels for the first time.

Doubts remain on Monday as to how the rules will be enforced on public transport, particularly at peak times.

Some activities, such as having a coffee at the bar of a cafe and dining outdoors, are allowed without any green pass at all.

The measures, which Prime Minister Mario Draghi says are needed to “preserve normality”, will be in place until at least January 15th, with the possibility that they will be extended further into 2022.

The Italian government on Sunday also revealed additional rules meaning that, for many venues, the green pass requirements would apply differently depending on which coloured zone each region is in.

In most cases, the rules are to be tightened if a region is declared a higher-risk ‘orange’ zone. In this situation, many venues and businesses which would have previously been closed down under orange zone restrictions can remain open but will require the ‘super’ green pass.

At the moment, all of Italy is either a low-risk ‘white’ or ‘yellow’ zone under Italy’s four-tiered system of  risk assessment, which has been in place since October 2020.

The two regions classed as yellow zones – Friuli Venezia Giulia and Bolzano – both border Austria, a country in partial lockdown due to the infection rate there.

READ ALSO: How do Italy’s new Covid rules affect tourists? 

These and other Italian regions could in theory be declared orange zones within weeks if numbers continue to rise.

The Italian government is relying heavily on the green pass system and the relatively high vaccination rate to keep the infection, hospitalisation and death rates down as another wave of contagion sweeps Europe.

However, Italy is currently faring better than many of its neighbours, with 15,000 cases out of a population of 60 million reported on Sunday.

READ ALSO: Italy considers bringing back outdoor mask requirement

Healthcare workers in Italy already have to be vaccinated under a law approved in April, but from December 15th the obligation will be extended to school staff, police, and the military.

Booster jabs are also being made available to all over-18s as of December 1st.

Almost 85 percent of over 12s have been vaccinated, health ministry data shows on Monday, and jabs will soon be available for younger children in Italy.

Member comments

  1. My number one question about the super green pass is, in simple language: What, if anything, do we holders of green passes need to do in relation to these new requirements? I was getting kind of irritated that no one seemed to be clearly answering that question, but then … I think that question gets answered in the seventh paragraph of this other article:

    https://www.thelocal.it/20211203/explained-how-italys-covid-green-pass-rules-change-on-december-6th/

    to wit: “The government hasn’t indicated that vaccinated or Covid-recovered green pass holders need to do anything to upgrade their pass – so it appears as though their certificates will automatically be considered a ‘super green pass’, and users can go on as before.”

    That’s “super good news” if true.
    OK, I’ll sit down now.–CT

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COVID-19 RULES

Italy allows suspended anti-vax doctors to return to work

Italian heathcare staff suspended over their refusal to be vaccinated against Covid-19 can now return to work, Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni confirmed on Monday.

Italy allows suspended anti-vax doctors to return to work

Italy become the first country in Europe to make it obligatory for healthcare workers to be vaccinated, ruling in 2021 that they must have the jab or be transferred to other roles or suspended without pay.

That obligation had been set to expire in December, but was brought forward to Tuesday due to “a shortage of medical and health personnel”, Health Minister Orazio Schillaci said.

READ ALSO: Is Italy’s government planning to scrap all Covid measures?

Italy was the first European country to be hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic in early 2020, and has since registered nearly 180,000 deaths.

Schillaci first announced the plan to scrap the rule on Friday in a statement saying data showed the virus’ impact on hospitals  “is now limited”.

Those who refuse vaccination will be “reintegrated” into the workforce before the rule expires at the end of this year, as part of what the minister called a “gradual return to normality”.

Meloni said the move, which has been criticised by the centre-left as a win for anti-vax campaigners, would mean some 4,000 healthcare workers can return to work.

This includes some 1,579 doctors and dentists refusing vaccination, according to records at the end of October, representing 0.3 percent of all those registered with Italy’s National Federation of the Orders of Physicians, Surgeons and Dentists (Fnomceo) 

Meloni’s post-fascist Brothers of Italy party railed against the way Mario Draghi’s government handled the pandemic, when it was the main opposition party, and she promised to use her first cabinet meetings to mark a clear break in policies with her predecessor.

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