Italy updates quarantine rules and imposes fresh restrictions on the unvaccinated amid record numbers of covid cases.
The Italian government on Wednesday announced that it is to tighten its Super Green Pass rules and ease existing quarantine regulations for the vaccinated amid a surge of new covid-19 infections.
The obligation to self-isolate will be scrapped for those who come into close contact with a covid-positive person providing they have had a booster shot, have recovered or have been doubly vaccinated within the last 120 days.
They will be require to wear a more protective FFP2 face mask for 10 days after contact and be obliged to undertake a covid test, if they have symptoms, after five days.
For those who have been vaccinated or have recovered from the virus more than four months after coming into contact with a covid-positive person, the quarantine requirement will be reduced from seven to five days, followed by a negative test result.
The isolation time for those who are unvaccinated will remain 10 days.
Italy's new Super Green Pass rules
The government of Mario Draghi is also to expand the scope - once again - of the Super Green Pass, a certificate which is required for a wide range of activities and can only be obtained by those who have been vaccinated or recovered from covid-19.
From 10 January the Super Green Pass will be required to access all forms of public transport (including local and regional), outdoor restaurants, ski lifts, hotels, parties after civil and religious ceremonies, conventions and fairs, swimming pools and wellness centres.
The new Super Green Pass rules, designed to boost Italy's vaccination campaign, will remain in force for the duration of the nation's state of emergency, scheduled to end on 31 March 2022.
The government also plans to fix a reduced price for FFP2 masks, to be agreed with pharmacies, and to reduce the maximum capacity of sports stadiums to 50 per cent outdoors and 35 per cent indoors.
Changes to the quarantine system come after health experts warned that Italy faced "paralysis" over the growing numbers of people in isolation due to the surge in new covid infections, driven by the highly transmissible Omicron variant.
The new decree was unveiled the same day that Italy registered a record 98,030 new covid cases in the last 24 hours, the highest daily tally since the start of the pandemic.
Talk of extending the Super Green Pass to all sectors of workers fell through, however the topic is set to be addressed again during the next meeting of the Council of Ministers, according to Italian media reports.
The new rules, agreed by the government following talks with its technical scientific committee (CTS), are set to be implemented after consultation with Italy's emergency coronavirus commissioner General Francesco Paolo Figliuolo.