SHARE
COPY LINK
For members

COVID-19 RULES

EXPLAINED: How Italy’s Covid rules change from Thursday

Most of Italy’s remaining pandemic-related restrictions have been eased from Thursday, June 16th - but some remain. Here are the rules at a glance.

EXPLAINED: How Italy’s Covid rules change from Thursday
Masks remain required on metro trains and other forms of public transport in Italy until September. Photo by Miguel MEDINA / AFP

The Italian health minister on Wednesday night signed off on the latest changes to the rules contained in an ordinance.

While most rules have been dropped, the government has chosen to keep its mask mandate in place on most forms of public transport, in healthcare settings, and in care homes.

READ ALSO: Italy’s transport mask rule extended to September as Covid rate rises

As existing rules had expired on Wednesday, June 15th, the changes come in immediately from Thursday, June 16th.

Though the changes are already in force, some details remain unclear.

The government is expected to publish a decree in the coming days containing further information about of the updated regulations, but for now here’s what we know about how the rules have changes in Italy on Thursday based on the ordinance and separate official updates in recent days.

Public transport

Italy has extended current rules until September 30th, meaning passengers will still be required to wear FFP2 masks on local and long-distance public transport including buses, coaches, trains, subways, trams, and ferries, according to the health ministry’s ordinance.

The ordinance confirms that children aged under six remain exempt from the requirement, as do those who have “illnesses or disabilities incompatible with the use of a mask”. Police enforcing mask-wearing rules may ask for a medical certificate in this case.

Flights

Flights are not mentioned in the new ordinance, and media reports say ministers have chosen to lift the rules for air passengers entirely.

Confirmation is expected once the full decree text is published. However, in recent weeks many airlines and airports in Italy have already opted to relax the mask-wearing requirement individually.

Cinemas and theatres

The mask-wearing requirement in cinemas, theatres, concert halls, and at indoor sporting events has been dropped from June 16th, the ordinance confirms.

Schools

Students will not be required to wear a mask when sitting the maturità and terza media exams, though masks continue to be recommended.

Hospitals and healthcare settings

As expected, masks remain obligatory in hospitals, care homes and all types of healthcare facilities,

Workplaces

Employees of businesses in the private sector are still obliged to wear masks until at least June 30th, according to rules set previously. This means the rule applies to staff at venues including cinemas, concert halls, bars and restaurants – though not to customers.

Masks are no longer required in public sector workplaces as of June 16th, as the ordinance requiring them expired on the 15th and has no been renewed.

Churches

Masks will no longer be required in churches, and holy water fonts can now be used again, according to separate guidelines issued on Wednesday.

Compulsory vaccination for over-50s

From Thursday the Covid vaccination requirement also comes to an end for over-50s in Italy, but remains in place for healthcare and care home staff until at least the end of the year.

Quarantine rules

There has been no indication yet as to whether the government also plans to relax the rules on quarantine and isolation for those who test positive for Covid-19.

Note that local authorities and individual businesses in Italy can still set different rules than those at the national level, meaning certain restrictions may continue to vary from one place to another.

This article will be updated when more details are made available.

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

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

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.

SHOW COMMENTS