News in Italy: Italian government updates covid Green Pass system with new restrictions in place.
Italy's rules regarding the Green Pass - the digital certificate proving the holder has been vaccinated, tested negative or recovered from covid-19 - change with effect from Tuesday 1 February.
The Italian government is currently operating a two-tiered Green Pass system, with the "basic" version of the pass available by testing negative for covid, alongside the "reinforced" or "Super" version which can only be obtained by those who are vaccinated or have recovered from covid.
Where do I need the Green Pass from 1 February?
As of today, 1 February, the Green Pass is required to enter public offices, banks, post offices, tobacconists, bookshops and newsagents (unless outdoor kiosks), in addition to hairdressers, barbers and beauty salons.
Super Green Pass
These new rules are in addition to the requirement of the Super Green Pass on public transport, in bars and restaurants (both indoors and outdoors), gyms, hotels, cinemas, theatres, malls and sports stadiums.
Unvaccinated people in Italy are still permitted to access food shops, supermarkets, pharmacies and fuel stations. Neither version of the Green Pass applies to children under 12.
Duration of Green Pass
Also from 1 February the validity of the Super Green Pass for those who have had at least two doses of the covid vaccine is reduced from nine to six months.
However the government is considering the possibility of extending the validity of the pass indefinitely for those who have had the third "booster" dose, with news expected on this front in the coming days.
The outdoor mask mandate, due to expire on 31 January, has been extended by 10 days and will remain in force until 10 February, news agency ANSA reported on Monday.
Likewise, the closure of Italy's night clubs, discos and dance halls has been extended until 10 February, along with a ban on concerts and outdoor parties.
Travel to Italy
Additionally, Italy will ease travel rules for EU visitors from 1 February, dropping the government's contentious requirement of a covid test before departure, even for vaccinated travellers. As of today all that is required for EU travellers to Italy is a valid Green Pass.
Covid vaccine mandate for over-50s
Also on 1 February the government introduces a €100 fine for all Italians and foreigners aged over 50 living in Italy who have not been vaccinated against covid-19, under the government's controversial vaccine mandate for the over-50s.
From 15 February all public and private workers in Italy aged over 50 will only be able to access their workplace with a Super Green Pass, while the existing basic Green Pass mandate stays in effect for workers under 50.
For official information about the covid-19 situation in Italy (in English) see the health ministry website. Photo credit: Gennaro Leonardi Photos / Shutterstock.com.