Italy reopens nightclubs and eases Covid outdoor mask rule from Friday

Italy has relaxed its rules on wearing face masks outdoors from Friday and allowed nightclubs to reopen this weekend as it begins to gradually ease Covid-19 restrictions nationwide.

Italy reopens nightclubs and eases Covid outdoor mask rule from Friday
Nightclubs in Italy are set to reopen on Friday after a six-week closure. File photo: Pau Barrena/AFP

After a six-week closure, Italy’s nightclubs and dance venues will be allowed to reopen from Friday, February 11th as the government is set to allow its closure order to expire.

There was no official announcement of the rule change, but Deputy Health Minister Andrea Costa told RaiTre television on Thursday that the ministry’s closure order for nightclubs “will not be renewed today, meaning that from tomorrow they will reopen”.

READ ALSO: Italy to end Covid outdoor mask requirement from Friday

Nightclubs have been closed for most of the past two years in Italy, and were shut down again on December 30th as the government tightened health measures again amid a surge in cases fuelled by the more infectious Omicron variant.

Italian media reported on Thursday that industry bosses and regional authorities had pushed for the reopening of the hard-hit sector to coincide with Valentine’s Day on February 14th.

As with most leisure venues in Italy, entry will be restricted to those who can show a ‘reinforced’ or ‘super’ green pass proving vaccination against or recovery from Covid-19.

READ ALSO: Where you now need to show a Covid green pass in Italy

Capacity will also be limited to a maximum of 50 percent for indoor venues and 75 percent outdoors.

Masks must be worn in all indoor public places in Italy, including in nightclubs except for when on the dancefloor, according to Italian media reports.

The reopening of nightclubs comes as the government eased rules on wearing masks in outdoor public places from Friday, except for in crowded areas.

The government has pledged to announce plans to ease current health measures in the coming weeks, but so far no firm dates have been given for further changes to existing rules.

Some Italian media reports this week suggested that the requirement to wear masks indoors and the ‘green pass’ system may be scrapped in April, however this has not been announced or suggested by government sources.

For more information about Covid-19 restrictions in Italy please see the Italian health ministry’s website (available in English).

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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.