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EXPLAINED: What’s in Italy’s latest Covid decree?

Italy’s prime minister Mario Draghi has announced a new Covid decree
Italy’s prime minister Mario Draghi has announced a new Covid decree. STRINGER / ANSA / AFP
Italy’s government has passed a new decree introducing sweeping new Covid restrictions. Here’s what the latest rules say.

On Wednesday night, Italy’s Council of Ministers voted on a decree designed to curb the country’s soaring infection rates and protect hospitals from becoming overwhelmed.

“We are intervening in particular in the age groups that are most at risk of hospitalisation to reduce the pressure on hospitals and save lives,” Prime Minister Mario Draghi said at the opening of the meeting in parliament.

“Today’s measures aim to preserve the good functioning of hospitals and, at the same time, keep schools and economic activities open”.

Here’s what’s in the new decree:

Vaccine mandate for over-50s

Anyone aged 50 and over residing in Italy is now required to become vaccinated with near-immediate effect, according to Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera. The obligation will officially kick in the day after the decree’s publication in the Official Gazette, which is anticipated within the next couple of days.

The rule will be in place until at least June 15, 2022, and applies to anyone set to turn 50 by that date.

Those in the age category who have not been vaccinated by February 1st will be subject to a 100 euro sanction. Workers aged 50 and up must from February 15th show a ‘super green pass’, proving the holder is vaccinated against or recovered from Covid, to enter the workplace.

Anyone in the age bracket caught in the workplace without their super green pass from February 15th will be subject to fines of between 600 and 1,500 euros.

 READ ALSO: Italy to make Covid-19 vaccination mandatory for over 50s

‘Super green pass’ for university staff

Staff of universities and those who work in music, art, and dance training institutes must get vaccinated and hold a ‘super green pass’ to enter their place of work.

They join healthcare staff, police, teachers and emergency services workers as categories of workers in Italy subject to a vaccine mandate.

All other workers in Italy can for now continue to use the basic green pass, which can be obtained via a negative Covid test result, in addition to vaccination or recovery, to enter the workplace.

Workers undergo a control of their so-called Green Pass in Genoa.
A worker has their ‘green pass’ checked. Photo by Marco BERTORELLO / AFP

Basic green pass for essential activities

From January 20th until at least March 31, 2022 (when Italy’s state of emergency is next due to expire), a basic green pass will be needed to enter ‘personal services’ such as hairdressers and beauty salons, reports Sky News.

The requirement will be extended to “public offices, postal, banking, and financial services, and commercial activities” (such as shopping centres), “except for those necessary to ensure the fulfilment of essential and primary needs of the person.”

Schools

In nurseries and kindergartens, a single case of Covid will result in the institute being required to shut down for 10 days.

In primary schools, a single case will not trigger an immediate shut down, but will require immediate rapid antigen testing for every class member on day zero and again five days after the case was first detected. Classes with two or more positive cases will revert to remote learning for 10 days.

In secondary schools, 10 days of remote learning for the entire class is triggered only where there are three or more positive cases. With a single positive case, the entire class will continue in-person learning with FFP2 face masks; with two positive cases, the recently-vaccinated or boosted will remain in the classroom, while those students who are not boosted and underwent their primary vaccination cycle more than 120 days ago will switch to remote learning.


Member comments

  1. Who cares about transmissibility when deaths are 1/5th what they were. This is political/health theater to appease the masses who are traumatized by the last 2 years.

        1. So what, we should destroy the economy and travel industry to protect people from .1% death rate? Something that is about as dangerous as many viruses we never thought twice about before, and less dangerous than any number of risky activities we do all the time. Makes literally no sense. We all die someday. How do we want to live?

  2. Given Omicron’s virulent transmissibility, two positive cases in a class to trigger remote learning means there will be a lot of remote learning.

    1. Might as well just shut all schools down now. See if we can’t completely destroy the economy. Seriously though I do feel sorry for the kids trying to be in school now. Their development is being stunted and they will have to deal with the economic repercussions for decades.

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