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Rome bus commuter without Italy's Green Pass fined €400

Italy registers record 1.3 million Green Pass downloads in 24 hours.

The first fine in Rome for travelling on public transport without a Green Pass was handed to a commuter on Monday morning, the day Italy's new covid rules came into force.

The passenger, a 50-year-old Romanian man, was fined €400 after police asked for his Green Pass as he got off a bus in Piazzale Flaminio, reports Italian news agency ANSA.

The man admitted that he did not have the certificate, claiming that he planned to get vaccinated "in the next few days", however the officers did not entertain his excuse.

Rome newspaper Il Messaggero reported that police fined a second commuter at Anagnina metro station, for not having a Green Pass, later in the morning.

The Green Pass - which proves the holder has been vaccinated against covid, recovered within the last six months or tested negative in the last couple of days - is required for all forms of public transport in Italy from 6 December until at least 15 January.

Until now the Green Pass had only been required for high-speed trains and long-distance travel, including flights, ferries and inter-regional rail journeys.

However as of 6 December it is needed across Italy for local public transport networks - including buses, trams and subways - as well as regional bus and train travel.

The move comes as Italy tightens its system of covid rules with the introduction of the Super Green Pass, which only applies to those who have been vaccinated or recovered from covid.

This means that as of 6 December the unvaccinated are unable to access indoor restaurants, bars, cinemas, theatres, concerts, night clubs or sports stadiums.

ANSA reported on Monday morning that more than 1.3 million Green Pass - both "basic" and "super" - were registered in the last 24 hours, a new record for Italy.

Green Pass spot checks are being conducted at bus stops and metro stations in cities across Italy by police and designated public transport officials.

"There will be checks but we cannot check everything" - Italy's deputy health minister Andrea Costa told state broadcaster RAI - "In this phase of the pandemic we must also understand that everything is in our hands, in the sense of responsibility of citizens".

"In reality" - he observed - "for the vast majority of citizens, that 87 per cent who have been vaccinated, nothing changes".

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

Photo credit: Il Messaggero

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Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
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