SHARE
COPY LINK

COVID-19

‘Super green pass’: How is Italy enforcing the new Covid rules?

Italian police handed out almost 1,000 fines to people who failed to show the new Covid 'super green pass' document on the first day of new restrictions on Monday. But where and how are checks being carried out?

'Super green pass': How is Italy enforcing the new Covid rules?
Photo: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP

Italy on Monday December 6th introduced new restrictions for those who are not vaccinated against or recovered from Covid-19 under so-called ‘super green pass’ rules.

Italy has since August required people to show a green pass which could also be obtained via a negative test result, and these ‘basic’ green passes will continue to be valid for access to workplaces, local public transport and venues deemed essential.

But access to many cultural and leisure venues, including nightclubs and sports facilities, is now restricted to those who can prove they are vaccinated or recovered under the new ‘super’ or reinforced green pass rules. Health passes which were issued based on recovery or vaccination will remain valid for entry to all venues.

More venues will fall under these restrictions in any regions declared higher-risk ‘orange’ zones under Italy’s tiered system of heath measures, though this does not currently apply to any part of the country.

MAP: The Italian regions at risk of becoming ‘yellow’ zones in December

The rule changes also mean hotels and local forms of public transport must now require a ‘basic’ green pass (which can be based on negative test results) for entry.

Business owners are required to ensure customers comply with the rules by checking green passes using the verification app – and if they’re found not to have done so, both staff and customers face fines and the business could be temporarily closed.

The health ministry on Sunday stated that it had updated its Verifica C-19 app, which is used to check the validity of green passes.

Holders of green passes (issued based on vaccination or proof of recovery) don’t need to do anything to obtain a ‘super’ green pass: their current passes will remain valid for entry where required if operators download and use the new version of the verification app.

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

But doubts remain as to how the rules can be enforced in some situations, particularly on public transport at peak times.

The Italian Transport Ministry is reportedly working on a new electronic ticketing system which would mean green passes were needed when purchasing tickets, but so far there’s no indication of when this may be launched.

A new ordinance published by the Interior Ministry on Monday stated that more police checks would be carried out on public transport and on businesses to ensure compliance with the new system.

Interior Minster Luciana Lamorgese insisted the checks on green pass compliance would be “rigorous”.

“I have read in some media that the Interior Ministry is taking a soft line,” she told reporters on Monday.

“It’s not true. Our line is one of rigor: public health must be guaranteed, the right to serenity when you go out.”

Some 937 fines in total were issued to people who were unable to show a green pass, according to news agency Ansa, and a further 2,000 fines were handed out on the same day to people not following the rules on wearing masks, following a total of 119.539 police checks.

Police shut down at least one bar in Rome for five days on Monday and fined the owner and members of staff, Ansa reports, as they did not have a basic version of the green pass certificate – which has been required in all workplaces in Italy since October 15th.

Currently masks are required in all indoor public places as well as in crowded outdoor areas in ‘white’ zones, and at all times in public, including outdoors, in ‘yellow’ zones as well as in the central areas of numerous Italian cities which have brought in stricter local rules.

Anyone who is unable to show a green pass or wear a mask when required risks fines of 400 euros or more, the new ordinance published by the Interior Ministry on Monday confirmed.

Anyone found at indoor restaurants or events without a the ‘super’ green pass can be removed from the venue and fined between 400 and 1,000 euros, the ordinance states.

The same fines apply to passengers on long-distance trains, domestic flights, local public transport, and customers at gyms, swimming pools, and hotels found to be without a green pass, and to the managers of businesses found not to have carried out checks 

After three fines on three different days a business can be shut down for up to ten days. 

In workplaces, the existing penalties remain in place: those found without green passes can be suspended without pay for five days and fined from 600 to 1,500 euros; while employers who don’t carry out checks can be fined from 400 to 1,000 euros.

Member comments

  1. We have been denied entry to restaurants two times in the past 3 days because our paper CDC cards were not accepted. This will only get worse as Omicron spreads through Italy.

    I understand the fear of fines that restaurants face, but there is nothing in the decrees that say that the CDC card cannot be used. The MdS needs to put out a notice clarifying the rules to the establishments.

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members

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.

SHOW COMMENTS