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COVID-19 RULES

UPDATE: How Italy’s Covid green pass rules change for tourists in April

Italy’s government has announced it will lift all Covid-19 health restrictions by early summer, with some set to end as soon as April 1st. What does this mean if you're travelling to Italy?

UPDATE: How Italy’s Covid green pass rules change for tourists in April
Italy plans to ease its 'green pass' rules for tourists are set to change at hotels and restaurants. Photo by Marco Bertorello / AFP

As Italy prepares, in the words of Prime Minister Mario Draghi, to gradually “eliminate all the restrictions that have limited our behaviour”, the text of the government’s latest decree has now confirmed which rules will be eased as of April 1st.

TIMELINE: Where and when will Italy relax its Covid rules?

The Italian government published the long-awaited final text (see it here, in Italian) on Friday, more than a week after it announced the document’s approval.

Italian media reports based on a draft of the decree had stated that some rules would be lifted sooner for international tourists than for residents. But the publication of the decree confirmed that all of April’s rule changes will apply to residents and tourists alike.

Here are the rule changes you should know about if you’ll be travelling in Italy from April 1st:

Bars and restaurants

As of April 1st, proof of a negative Covid test result will be enough for entry to indoor bars and restaurants.

Since January, entry to many venues, including bars and restaurants, has been limited only to those who can show a valid ‘super’ green pass – which is issued based on proof of vaccination against or recovery from Covid-19, but not via testing.

The change in rules opens up these venues to people who have not been vaccinated against Covid-19 as long as they test negative.

Proof of a negative test result must be shown via a valid green pass base, or ‘basic’ green pass – the digital health certificate released after obtaining a test result from a certificated provider in Italy (such as a pharmacy or clinic).

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

However, if you’re in Italy for a longer stay bear in mind that you will need to be tested every couple of days to retain access to a valid green pass.

Passes issued based on the results of PCR tests are valid for 72 hours (from the time of testing). For rapid tests, the validity period is 48 hours.

Hotels

From April 1st, visitors staying in hotels and B&Bs will also be able to access restaurants, bars and dining rooms located in their accommodation without any type of green pass.

Public transport

The health pass requirements for accessing long-distance public transport will also be downgraded, with only a basic green pass needed (rather than a ‘super’ green pass as is currently the case).

This applies to domestic flights, ferries, high-speed and intercity trains and coaches.

The ‘super’ green pass will remain mandatory on local or regional public transport (such as city buses and trams) until May 1st.

Until the same date, the use of Ffp2 face masks will remain mandatory on all means of public transportation; from trains and ferries to taxis and ski lifts.

Stadiums and theatres

The basic green pass (see above) will be adequate for “public participation in shows open to the public, as well as in sporting events and competitions which take place outdoors”, reads the decree text. 

In other words, proof of a negative test result will now be accepted in order to access stadiums, concerts and open-air theatre performances or cinema screenings.

For indoor venues, the ‘super’ green pass remains a requirement (proof of vaccination against or recovery from Covid-19, but not via testing).

Green pass requirements are then expected to be eased further from May 1st.

Masks

Italy’s existing requirement to wear a mask in all indoor and some outdoor public areas will remain in place for everyone in the country until May 1st.

Until the same date, the use of Ffp2 face masks will remain mandatory on all means of transport (including on ski lifts and in taxis) and at cinemas, theatres and many other venues.

The plan for easing Italy’s domestic restrictions does not affect the rules for international arrivals, 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

Italy allows suspended anti-vax doctors to return to work

Italian heathcare staff suspended over their refusal to be vaccinated against Covid-19 can now return to work, Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni confirmed on Monday.

Italy allows suspended anti-vax doctors to return to work

Italy become the first country in Europe to make it obligatory for healthcare workers to be vaccinated, ruling in 2021 that they must have the jab or be transferred to other roles or suspended without pay.

That obligation had been set to expire in December, but was brought forward to Tuesday due to “a shortage of medical and health personnel”, Health Minister Orazio Schillaci said.

READ ALSO: Is Italy’s government planning to scrap all Covid measures?

Italy was the first European country to be hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic in early 2020, and has since registered nearly 180,000 deaths.

Schillaci first announced the plan to scrap the rule on Friday in a statement saying data showed the virus’ impact on hospitals  “is now limited”.

Those who refuse vaccination will be “reintegrated” into the workforce before the rule expires at the end of this year, as part of what the minister called a “gradual return to normality”.

Meloni said the move, which has been criticised by the centre-left as a win for anti-vax campaigners, would mean some 4,000 healthcare workers can return to work.

This includes some 1,579 doctors and dentists refusing vaccination, according to records at the end of October, representing 0.3 percent of all those registered with Italy’s National Federation of the Orders of Physicians, Surgeons and Dentists (Fnomceo) 

Meloni’s post-fascist Brothers of Italy party railed against the way Mario Draghi’s government handled the pandemic, when it was the main opposition party, and she promised to use her first cabinet meetings to mark a clear break in policies with her predecessor.

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