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Italy prepares to expand covid Green Pass

What will the expanded Green Pass mean for daily life in Italy?

Italy is set to introduce an expanded Green Pass today, under a new decree, in a move likely to restrict the movements of those who have not been vaccinated against covid-19.

The rules are yet to be confirmed however it is widely reported that people will be required to present a Green Pass in order to access cinemas, stadiums, nightclubs, domestic flights, long-distance trains and possibly indoor bars and restaurants.

Italian newspaper of record Corriere della Sera is reporting that people who wish to access "all indoor places, including restaurants" will be required to prove they have had at least one dose of the vaccine, with proof of a double dose required "wherever there is a risk of crowds."

How does the Green Pass work?

The Green Pass, in use in Italy since June, shows that people have been vaccinated, tested negative or recovered from covid-19, with the certificate available in both digital and paper format.

Until now the 'certificazione verde' has only been required for international travel in Europe as well as facilitating access to nursing homes and large events, such as concerts, football matches or weddings.

However the scope of the Green Pass is expected to be expanded significantly, probably taking effect from Monday 26 July.

Currently those who have had the first dose of their covid vaccine receive the Green Pass however this could possibly change under the new decree, being issued only to those who are fully vaccinated.

Heated debate

What the new Green Pass will entail is the subject of heated discussion on social media, with hashtags such as 'Apartheid Vaccinale' trending on Twitter, and newspapers in Italy are talking of little else.

Those in favour of the move say it will incentivise people into getting vaccinated against covid-19, while those against the vaccine say they will be penalised for choosing not to be vaccinated.

The scope of the Green Pass is also a matter of debate within premier Mario Draghi's coalition government.

The leader of the right-wing Lega party Matteo Salvini thinks it could be a "useful tool" for accessing concerts or football matches but says he is against it being required for "a simple coffee at the bar" and that it "cannot be an additional bureaucratic burden for citizens."

State of emergency

In addition to expanding the Green Pass, the government is set to extend the nation's covid-19 state of emergency, after it expires next week, either until the end of October or until the end of this year.

The emergency legislation, in place since 31 January 2020, grants special powers to national and regional authorities in tackling the covid-19 crisis swiftly, cutting through red tape to implement, modify or revoke emergency measures if and when required.

Covid restrictions

Also exected to change are the parameters governing Italy's colour-coded system of coronavirus restrictions, switching the focus from the number of covid cases to the number of patients hospitalised.

Details about the Green Pass can be found - in Italian - on the Certificazione Verde website while for official information about the covid-19 situation in Italy - in English - see the health ministry website.

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