Italy set to make Covid green pass mandatory for entry to 'non-essential' shops

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Italy set to make Covid green pass mandatory for entry to 'non-essential' shops
Pedestrians walk past the Stereosound record shop, located a few steps from the Pantheon in Rome, on January 12, 2022, a day after the Pope's visit. - Pope Francis, a great lover of classical music, was caught leaving the record shop, which is owned by friends of his, in central Rome on January 11, 2022, to bless it after its renovation, for which he received a gift. Before being elected pontiff in 2013, the pope stayed in a residence for religious near the Pantheon and used to buy classical music records when he was a simple bishop. (Photo by Vincenzo PINTO / AFP)

The Italian government is drawing up a new decree this week which will make its Covid-19 health pass a requirement for entry to most shops, in addition to other venues and services already covered by the rules.


Starting next month, Italy's green pass (either the ‘reinforced’ or ‘super’ pass showing proof of vaccination, or the basic version accessible via a negative test result) is expected to be made a requirement for entry to all businesses and venues except for essential shops and services such as supermarkets, national broadcaster Rai reports.

The government on Tuesday is holding talks on whether certain shops, such as newsagents and tobacconists, should require passes for entry.

The list of exempt businesses, set to be specified in a new decree this week, will reportedly include food shops, pharmacies, opticians and stores selling fuel.

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

This will mean access to almost all businesses, service or venue in the country require some form of the health pass , after Italy tightened its rules on January 10th.

From that date, proof of vaccination against or recovery from Covid-19 (not a negative test result) has been required to access venues including restaurants, bars, hotels, ski resorts, museums, galleries, cinemas and sports stadiums, as well as all forms of public transport.

Italy has also made jabs mandatory for all over-50s who are resident in the country, with those who refuse to get vaccinated to face fines from February 1st. Some groups of workers including police and healthcare staff are also subject to a vaccination mandate.

Food shops will be exempt from Italy's pass requirement. Photo: Miguel MEDINA / AFP


The green pass takes the form of a QR code that can be scanned and checked by public sector and service industry workers, who can face police fines for failing to enforce the rules.

EXPLAINED: How do Italy’s Covid vaccination rules apply to visitors?

It's not yet known when the new decree will come into force. An announcement is expected later this week.

The new rules are expected to apply nationwide, regardless of the zone a region is in under Italy's four-tiered system of risk classifications.

The Italian government is “reconsidering” the use of its system of white, yellow, orange and red ‘zones’, which has been in place since November 2020.

It's not yet known whether the tiered system will be altered or scrapped altogether, as the government’s strategy for dealing with the pandemic relies increasingly on vaccinations rather than business closures and lockdown measures.

For the moment, the coloured tier system remains in place with most of the country designated a ‘yellow’ zone as of Monday.



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