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

Italy’s government has passed a new decree introducing sweeping new Covid restrictions. Here’s what the latest rules say.

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

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.”


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. 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.

  2. 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?

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For members


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

After Italy recently removed most Covid-related restrictions, readers have been asking us what exactly to expect on upcoming visits. Here are your questions answered.

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

Rules around travel to Italy and within the country have changed multiple times over the past two years. Unsurprisingly, they changed again just over a week ago.

On May 1st, Italy removed nearly all of its Covid-related social restrictions, including the so-called ‘green pass’ (or certificato verde), which was previously required to enter most venues across the country.

READ ALSO: Dining outdoors and hiking: How visitors plan to holiday in Italy this summer 

As the bel paese moves past its former state of emergency and opens up again to international tourism, we asked readers whether they’ll be travelling to Italy this summer. Most said yes, although some of you had doubts and reservations about the Covid restrictions currently in place.

And you had some questions for us, too – mainly about what to expect once you arrive in the country.

Below are our answers, based on the Italian government’s latest decree and the current advice from the health ministry.

If you’re looking for a detailed look at the entry rules when travelling to Italy this summer, please find more information here.

Q: Does Italy still have vaccine requirements in place?

A: A valid Covid vaccination or recovery certificate will be required to enter Italy until at least May 31st, when the current travel rules expire. 

As for travelling within Italy, as of May 1st, a valid health certificate is no longer required to access indoor venues and transport services. All visitors are free to travel across the country and enter restaurants, bars, cinemas, theatres and other indoor locations without having to provide a valid health pass.

READ ALSO: At a glance: What Covid-19 are now in place in Italy?

The only exception is for hospitals and care homes, which will continue to require a ‘green pass’ or its equivalent in the form of a foreign-issued vaccine or recovery certificate until December 2022.

Q: What kind of masks do you have to wear when travelling by train?

A: The use of FFP2 face masks is mandatory on all means of public transport, so not just trains but also buses, ferries and so on. Those equipped with a different type of face covering will be prevented from using the service.

The obligation to wear face masks on public transport will remain in place until at least June 15th.

Please note that FFP2 face masks are also required to enter the following indoor venues: cinemas, theatres, entertainment and sport venues (but not museums or galleries).

READ ALSO: Where do you still need to wear a mask in Italy from May 1st?

Q: Will more restaurants and shops be closed than normal?  

A: No, quite the contrary. After a couple of rather grim years, things are apparently once again looking up for Italian tourism. 

According to a survey from market research institute Demoskopika, the number of domestic and international tourists in Italy is set to rise by 43 percent compared to 2021. The first signs of such expected recovery manifested themselves over the Easter holidays, when some of the most popular Italian tourist destinations recorded ‘pre-pandemic’ numbers of visitors. 

So, to answer the question, most local businesses will look to capitalise on the renewed inflow of both international and national tourists and will therefore keep their doors (and hearts, hopefully) open.

View of the bars in the Navigli area, Milan

After a couple of rather bleak years, bars and restaurants are ready to welcome back international visitors. Photo by Miguel MEDINA / AFP

Q: I’m vaccinated but not ‘boosted’ and want to know if this is acceptable.

A: It is indeed. 

For the sake of clarity, here are the current rules on the topic.

Until at least May 31st when the rules expire (they may either be scrapped or extended after this point; The Local will provide updates when the deadline approaches), travellers may enter the country if they are asymptomatic and can present one of the following:

  • A Covid-19 vaccination certificate recognised by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). Presently, EMA recognises the following vaccines: Pfizer-BioNtech, Moderna, Vaxzevria Johnson and Johnson, Astrazeneca and Novavax. Please keep in mind that the minimum requirement is that you have fully completed the primary vaccination cycle (in this case, your pass will be valid for 9 months). For those who have already received a booster shot, the certificate is valid indefinitely.
  • A valid medical certificate confirming recovery from Covid (this is valid for 6 months from the positive swab test)
  • A negative molecular (PCR) test carried out within 72 hours of arrival in Italy or a rapid antigen test carried out within 48 hours of arrival

As previously mentioned, you won’t need a health pass (nor negative test result) to travel across the country.

Q: What type of health pass is needed for indoor dining from May?

A: None. No vaccination or recovery certificate is required to access bars and restaurants. Face masks are also no longer mandatory. 

Having said that, the use of face coverings in all indoor settings is still “strongly recommended” by the government. Furthermore, some local businesses have chosen to independently enforce stricter rules and only allow people equipped with a face mask to enter their premises.

Q: What are the current restrictions for hotels, restaurants and museums? 

A: There are no Covid-related restrictions (that is, not even face masks) for hotels, restaurants and museums.

However, as mentioned above, some businesses may choose to enforce their own rules and ask customers to wear a face covering. So, keep this in mind before you waltz into your local grocery store without a mask.

Musei Capitolini in Rome

Health certificates are no longer required to enter indoor venues, including museums and galleries. Photo by Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP

Q: What are the isolation rules if you test positive while visiting Italy?

A: If you test positive for Covid during your trip, you will have to self-isolate at your existing accommodation and notify the relevant local authorities (Aziende Sanitarie Locali, ASL) as soon as possible.

The Italian quarantine instructions are a bit of a head-scratcher, therefore we’ll try to summarise them as follows:

  • Those who have received a ‘booster shot’, have completed the first vaccination cycle no more than 120 days prior to testing positive or have recovered from Covid no more than 120 days prior to testing positive will be required to self-isolate for at least seven days. 
  • All others will be required to self-isolate for at least 10 days, regardless of whether they are symptomatic or asymptomatic.

You’ll be able to exit your quarantine period by taking a molecular (PCR) or rapid antigen test.

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

However, note that you will only be allowed to take such tests if you’ve shown no symptoms in the three days prior to the supposed date of the test. If you have, your self-isolation period will be extended. 

For instance, if you’re supposed to get tested on the tenth day of your quarantine but show symptoms on the ninth, you’ll only be able to get tested on the twelfth.

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.