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WHAT CHANGES IN ITALY

What changes about life in Italy in April 2022

From energy bills to the Covid green pass, here's a look at the changes to expect in Italy as we move into April.

What changes about life in Italy in April 2022
The Torre dell'Orologio in St Mark's Square, Venice. Photo by James Lee on Unsplash

End of Italy’s state of emergency

Italy’s pandemic state of emergency officially ended on March 31st, two years and two months after it was first declared.

The end of the state of emergency itself doesn’t mean the end of restrictions, and is largely symbolic. But the government has signed off on a roadmap to ending Covid health measures, meaning some restrictions are gradually being relaxed or removed starting from Friday, April 1st.

(Some) green pass rules will be relaxed

Italy is not doing away with its much-contested ‘green pass’ health certificate just yet, but it is no longer required at certain venues as of April 1st.

Many venues and businesses will now only be required to ask customers to show a proof of a negative Covid test result, in the form of a ‘basic’ green pass, rather than for proof of vaccination or recovery (via the reinforced or ‘super’ green pass).

Green pass rules in Italy are relaxed as of April 1st. Photo: Andreas SOLARO / AFP

The basic pass is now sufficient for accessing long-distance public transport services and for entry to indoor bars and restaurants, while you’ll no longer need any form of health pass at all to sit at outdoor tables.

READ ALSO: How to get a coronavirus test in Italy

The requirement has also been scrapped at hotels, museums, shops and local offices, including bank branches and post offices; and as of April 1st, no pass is required to access local public transport, such as city buses and trams.

See more details about the changes to the green pass system and Italy’s other health measures here.

Further easing of Covid travel restrictions? 

Italy’s entry requirements were eased at the beginning of March, meaning a vaccination certificate, recovery certificate or negative test result is now sufficient for entry to Italy.

These rules were recently extended and will remain in place until at least April 30th.

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

For now, there is no discussion about completely scrapping Covid restrictions for arrivals – as some other countries have done recently – but there may still be some changes on the way.

We’ll publish any updates in our Italian travel news section.

Energy bills to rise?

April is the start of a new quarter and in Italy that means energy tariffs are revised. And recently, they’ve only been revised upwards – sharply.

In fact, we’ve seen electricity and gas prices rise for the past six consecutive quarters, reaching unprecedented highs after the latest rise in January.

Prices were widely predicted to rise once again in April, with Nomisma Energia expecting an increase of 25 percent for electricity and 2 percent for natural gas.

However, recent reports have cast doubt on this; newspaper La Repubblica reported this week that the tariffs could, in fact, be revised slightly downwards; and according to an article published by Sky News on Wednesday, Italian energy regulator Arera is now saying we can expect to see both electricity and gas prices drop by around 10% percent.

READ ALSO: Rising energy prices: How to save money on your bills in Italy

If there is such a reduction in prices, however, it still won’t be enough to compensate for January’s huge increase (of 55 percent for electricity and 40 percent for gas).

Italy has seen steep energy bill rises for months. Photo by Anthony Indraus on Unsplash

One piece of good news is that Italy will offer new discounts on household energy bills from April under an updated scheme announced last week.

The funding is primarily for households on the lowest incomes, but the income level has been raised under the latest update from April.

More families can now claim the discount on utility bills, as it is now available to those with an ISEE of up to to €12,000. Find out more here.

Fuel discount ends

Following soaring fuel prices in March due to the war in Ukraine, the Italian government introduced a temporary reduction in fuel prices for motorists to bring the cost back down to below €2 per litre.

The fuel price cut equates to 25 cents plus VAT at 22.5 percent, making it a total of 30.5 cents discount to the consumer.

READ ALSO: How to save money on your fuel in Italy

The reduction is applied to the excise duty (a tax on the production and consumption of goods) on petrol and diesel.

Reactions to the move haven’t been warmly welcomed, not least because the measure, for now at least, only lasts 30 days – meaning that the discount will cease to apply after April 21st.

The government may extend the measure beyond this date, but has so far not confirmed any further fuel discounts or price caps.

Easter holidays

Time off for the Easter break falls in the middle of April, with Good Friday (Venerdì Santo) on April 15th and Easter Sunday (Pasqua) on April 17th.

You don’t get Good Friday off work as it’s not a national holiday, but you do get to take off two public holidays on Easter Sunday and Easter Monday (known as Pasquetta, or ‘little Easter’), which falls on April 18th this year.

READ ALSO: The Italian holiday calendar for 2022

Pupils – and teachers – get a break over Easter week and this year’s public school holiday is from Thursday, April 14th to Tuesday, April 19th in all regions of Italy, though private schools may have different dates.

‘April fish’

Italy doesn’t do April Fool’s: instead it does April fish.

The country’s traditional April 1st prank involves drawing a picture of a pesciolino – a ‘little fish’ – and sticking it on an unsuspecting victim’s back. Find out about the tradition here.

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For members

WHAT CHANGES IN ITALY

What changes about life in Italy in May 2022

From changes to the Covid green pass and mask rules, to upcoming spring events, here's a look at what's on the calendar in Italy as we move into May.

What changes about life in Italy in May 2022

Green pass rules have been relaxed

As of May 1st, Italy has dropped both its ‘basic’ (requiring a negative Covid test result) and ‘super’ (requiring proof of vaccination or recovery) green pass requirements for almost all situations.

Until the end of April, the ‘super green pass’ – or its equivalent in the form of a foreign-issued vaccination or recovery certificate – had been required to access venues such as cinemas, gyms and nightclubs, while the ‘basic’ green pass was needed to use public transport and to dine indoors at restaurants.

The health certificate requirement has now been scrapped in almost all venues – the one exception being hospitals and care homes, which still require visitors to provide proof of vaccination or recovery (the ‘super green pass’).

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

A customer shows her Green Pass on a mobile phone. (Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP)

Changes to the mask mandate

Italy ended its mask requirement for most indoor public spaces on May 1st, but at the end of April the government signed an ordinance keeping the mandate in place for some venues until June 15th.

Venues where masks are still required until then include local and long-distance public transport; health and social care environments, such as hospitals and residential homes; schools; and indoor entertainment venues, such as cinemas, theatres, concert halls, live music venues, and indoor sports arenas and stadiums.

High-grade Ffp2 masks are required on public transport (including planes, trains, ferries, buses, trams, coaches, school buses, trams and the metro) and in indoor entertainment venues; while lower-grade surgical masks are accepted in health and social care facilities and schools. Children under the age of six are exempt in all circumstances.

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

High grade FFP2 masks are currently required for on public transport and in stadiums, movie theatres, museums and sporting events in Italy.

Masks are likely to still be a requirement on public transport in May. Photo by Miguel MEDINA / AFP.

As of May 1st masks are no longer required in bars, restaurants, hotels, shops, museums, galleries, gyms, swimming pools, spas, nightclubs and workplaces all no longer require any kind of mask (under national law – individual businesses may choose to impose their own, stricter rules).

May Day Holiday (but you won’t get a day off)

May 1st marks Labour Day in Italy, a national public holiday – and also in many other countries too, often referred to as May Day.

Ironically, even though this is the workers’ day holiday, you won’t get a day off in Italy as it falls on a Sunday this year – and public holidays aren’t rolled on to the Monday when they take place on a weekend, as is the case in many other countries.

READ ALSO: The Italian holiday calendar for 2022

The good news is, if you’re on the payroll of an Italian company, you might be entitled to a day’s pay since it is a public holiday that’s not taken and so, the day should be included in your salary as if it had been worked.

It’s worth checking with your employer to see if you can benefit from the holiday in some way, after all.

May concerts and events

As the weather warms up and spring is in bloom, Italy is returning to a full social calendar with various concerts and events throughout the country.

As well as keeping an eye out for those local to you or where you’re visiting, there are some headliners to pencil in.

Italy’s Måneskin performs during the final of the 65th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest 2021, at the Ahoy convention centre in Rotterdam, on May 22, 2021. (Photo by KENZO TRIBOUILLARD / AFP)

Italy is the host country for Eurovision this year after Rome-based rock band Måneskin took victory in Rotterdam in 2021 with the song ‘Zitti e buoni’.

Turin has been chosen to host this year’s eccentric and flamboyant music acts. The grand final will be held in the city’s PalaOlimpico on Saturday, May 14th with the semi-finals scheduled on May 10th and 12th.

Heading southwards to Rome is the ‘Primo Maggio‘ May Day Concert (on May 1st therefore), which the organisers say is the largest free live music event in Europe.

The show is organised annually in Rome and has been running for over 30 years, attracting hundreds of thousands of spectators.

You can head to Piazza San Giovanni to see live acts for free from 3pm until spaces are full, and no booking is needed. See here for further info.

And if high human-powered speeds on two wheels are your thing, you might like to know that the Giro d’Italia cycling race takes place throughout May.

The event lasts for three weeks, starting in Budapest, Hungary on May 6th and ending in Verona, Italy on May 29th.

Check details and the route here.

Superbonus extension?

Homebuilders can end their waiting for final confirmation of an extension to Italy’s superbonus for single family homes any day now.

The government has already announced an imminent extension to give homebuilders more time to carry out delayed renovations, with a law finalising the plans expected as we begin a new month.

Various sectors called for the bonus to be rolled on for single buildings, as owners must have completed 30 percent of the works by June 30th – giving just two months left to those caught up in delays and at risk of not meeting the deadline.

While a new timeframe has not yet been given, the authorities have announced their intention to roll on the building bonus in their latest Economic and Financial Document (Il documento di economia e finanza or ‘DEF’), which outlines the government’s economic policy and sets fiscal targets for the year.

You can find out more about the latest details here.

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