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Italy begins to ease covid rules from 1 April

Italy waves goodbye to covid state of emergency after more than two years.

Italy will see a gradual lifting of covid restrictions from Friday 1 April, the day after the nation exited a state of emergency that lasted two years and two months.

Speaking on Italian television on Thursday night, health minister Roberto Speranza described 1 April as "an important day" but warned "we must keep our feet on the ground because the pandemic is still there."

Speranza thanked Italy's health workers for their "incredible" efforts and also paid tribute to the emergency covid commissioner General Figliuolo and the government's coronavirus advisors whose roles came to an end at midnight.

Under the new rules in effect from 1 April, the covid Green Pass is no longer required in outdoor areas of bars and restaurants, in museums, post offices, banks, tobacconists and public offices, and on local and regional public transport, including subways and buses.

The Green Pass - which proves the holder has been vaccinated against covid, recovered within the last six months or tested negative within the last couple of days - continues to be required to dine indoors, either seated at tables or standing at the bar, as well as on long-distance public transport, until 30 April.

The Green Pass is also required to access sports stadiums, concerts and open-air night clubs which can now operate to 100 per cent capacity.

The obligation to wear masks on public transport and indoor public places such as restaurants, theatres and gyms remains in force until 30 April.

There is no longer an obligation to quarantine after coming into contact with a covid-positive person, even for those who are not vaccinated. A self-monitoring system will apply for 10 days, with people allowed to go out and go to work provided they wear an FFP2 mask.

The rules also change at school: from 1 April remote learning only applies to students with covid-19. If there are more than four infections in the classroom, lessons continue in-person but everyone must wear FFP2 masks for 10 days. School tours can resume. Unvaccinated teachers can return to school from 1 April but are not permitted to teach.

From 1 April, unvaccinated people over the age of 50 can return to work, by presenting a negative covid test result every couple of days. The Green Pass obligation in the workplace for over-50s expires on 15 June, along with the mandatory vaccination mandate for over-50s, teachers, soldiers, police and prison staff.

The Super Green Pass - which can only be obtained via vaccination or recovery from covid - will continue to be required until 30 April to enter wellness centres, gaming rooms, discos, cinemas, theatres and indoor concerts, as well as conventions and sporting events held indoors.

The Super Green Pass system will remain in force until 31 December for those visiting hospitals and nursing homes.

On 1 May the obligation to show the Green pass is set to end almost everywhere, as is the obligation to wear masks in indoor places and on public transport.

For official information about the covid-19 situation in Italy - in English - see the health ministry websitePhoto credit: Kirk Fisher / Shutterstock.com.

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