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COVID-19 RULES

Italy to end Covid ‘super green pass’ requirement from May 1st

The Italian government has approved a 'roadmap' towards the end of Covid restrictions in the country by early summer, Prime Minister Mario Draghi confirmed on Thursday evening.

Italy to end Covid ‘super green pass’ requirement from May 1st
Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi talks about a planned lifting of the country's Covid-19 state of emergency and rules imposed during the pandemic at a press conference in Rome on March 17th. Photo by Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP

Prime Minister Mario Draghi confirmed on Thursday evening that his cabinet had signed off on the so-called decreto riapertura, or ‘reopening decree’, containing the timeline for easing the nation’s Covid restrictions

Under the decree, Italy’s health measures will be gradually eased between the start of April and mid-June, after the nationwide state of emergency ends on March 31st – two years and two months after it was first announced.

The green pass requirement is expected to end on May 1st, while Italy’s indoor mask mandate will end on April 30th, according to a draft text of the decree circulated on Thursday.

EXPLAINED: Why is Italy’s coronavirus infection rate rising again?

However, while Draghi confirmed at a press conference on Thursday evening that the decree had been approved, he did not go into details about what it contained.

The government approved “important measures that eliminate almost all the restrictions that have limited our behaviour,” Draghi said.

‘The government’s goal is to return to normality, the recovery of sociality, to reopen the economy and limit distance learning,” he continued. “This is now a state we have reached.”

Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP

Health Minister Roberto Speranza confirmed at the press conference that Italy’s four-coloured ‘zone’ system of restrictions will no longer be used, and said unvaccinated employees aged over 50 would no longer be suspended from work without pay. 

“It will be enough for them to have the basic green pass until April 30th”, he said, referring to the health certificate which can be issued based on proof of a negative test result as well as vaccination against or recovery from Covid-19.

Healthcare workers will remain subject to the vaccine mandate until December 31st, Speranza said.

He also confirmed that, as previously announced, the government is not planning to offer fourth vaccine doses to the entire population.

However, no further details were given about the contents of the new decree at the press conference, and the final text is yet to be published.

According to the draft, the requirement to show a ‘super’ or reinforced green pass in order to access public transport is expected to be lifted as soon as April 1st, when capacity restrictions are also set to be lifted at venues such as sports stadiums and nightclubs.

The government went ahead with the plans to lift the country’s health measures despite a rise in the coronavirus infection rate in Italy over the past two weeks.

However, Italy will relax the rules gradually over the coming months rather than all at once as in other countries such as neighbouring France and Germany.

At the moment, almost all venues and services in Italy, including hotels, restaurants and public transport, require a ‘super green pass’ for access, proving vaccination or recent recovery from Covid-19.

The decree is not expected to contain any updates to Italy’s travel rules, which were last updated at the beginning of March.

The Local will continue to publish further details about the new decree as they become available.

Find information about Italy’s Covid-19 rules on the Italian health ministry’s website (available in English).

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COVID-19 RULES

Masks to remain mandatory on Italian flights after May 16th

It will still be obligatory for passengers to wear masks on flights to Italy until mid-June, despite the end of the EU-wide requirement on Monday, May 16th, the Italian government has confirmed.

Masks to remain mandatory on Italian flights after May 16th

The Italian government reiterated on Friday that its current mask-wearing rules remain in place until June 15th, reports newspaper Corriere della Sera.

This means the mask mandate will still apply to all air passengers travelling to or from Italy, despite the end of an EU-wide requirement to wear masks on flights and at airports across the bloc from Monday.

READ ALSO: Reader question: What type of mask will I need for travel to Italy?

National regulations take precedence, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) confirmed when announcing the end of the EU rules.

“Wearing face masks at airports and inflight should be aligned with national measures on wearing masks in public transport and transport hubs,” they said in a joint statement published on May 11th.

READ ALSO: Why are so many Italians still wearing face masks in shops?

“If either the departure or destination States require the wearing of face masks on public transport, aircraft operators should require passengers and crew to comply with those requirements inflight, beyond 16 May 2022.

“Further, as of 16 May 2022, aircraft operators, during their pre-flight communications as well as during the flight, should continue to encourage their passengers and crew members to wear face masks during the flight as well as in the airport, even when wearing a face mask is not required”.

The Spanish government also said on Thursday that air passengers would have to continue wearing face masks on planes.

Italy’s current rules specify that higher-grade FFP2 masks should be worn on all forms of public transport, including buses, trams, regional and high-speed trains, ferries, and planes.

Though rules were eased in some settings from May 1st, masks also remain a requirement until June 15th at Italy’s cinemas and theatres, hospitals and care homes, indoor sporting event and concert venues, schools and universities.

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