Italy's new Super Green Pass will have major impact on the unvaccinated.
Italy is to tighten its system of restrictions linked to the Green Pass with tough new rules applying to those who are not vaccinated coming into force from 6 December until 15 January, with the option of being extended.
The new decree will see the introduction of a so-called Super Green Pass, a "reinforced" version of the certificate that proves the holder has been vaccinated against covid, recovered from the virus within the last six months or tested negative in the last couple of days.
The new measures, which will see the validity of the Green Pass reduced from 12 to nine months, were announced on Wednesday evening by premier Mario Draghi, alongside health minister Roberto Speranza and regional affairs minister Mariastella Gelmini.
Draghi said the situation in Italy "is under control, we are in the best situation in Europe thanks to the vaccination campaign which was a remarkable success."
However, the prime minister stated that "important measures" were needed to "preserve normality" and to "give certainty" to the tourist holiday season.
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Under the existing system, the Green Pass is required to access a wide range of social, cultural and sporting activities in Italy, from dining indoors in restaurants to long-distance travel journeys. It is also mandatory in the workplace.
However when the Super Green Pass comes into effect next month, it will only apply to those who have been vaccinated or recovered from covid-19.
This means that those who have chosen not to get vaccinated will no longer be able to access indoor restaurants or bars, cinemas or theatres, gyms or sporting stadiums.
In addition, the "basic" green pass will become mandatory from 6 December for hotels, changing rooms for sporting activities, regional rail transport and local public transport.
The only aspect that will not change in relation to the Green Pass is that unvaccinated workers may still access their workplace using the current system of getting tested every couple of days.
Minister Speranza announced that the covid vaccine will become compulsory for all teachers, police officers and military, with effect from 15 December.
Italy's medical workers, who were the first category of workers mandated to get vaccinated earlier this year, are now obliged to have their third 'booster' dose of the vaccine.
Speranza also said that from 1 December everyone over the age of 18 can book a booster dose.
He added that it was the government's intention to expand the nation's vaccination campaign to children aged 5-11, pending the formal approval from Italian medicines agency AIFA.
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All of Italy is currently in the lowest-risk white zone under the country's system of coronavirus restrictions.
The new Super Green Pass rules will apply to the unvaccinated in the white zone as well as the low-moderate-risk yellow zones and medium-risk orange zones.
However if a region passes into the highest-risk red zone then the lockdown restrictions will apply to everyone, whether they are vaccinated or not.
There will be a requirement to wear masks in crowded outdoor places once a a region is classified as a yellow zone or higher.
This is the government's latest move to extend the scope of the Green Pass and follows sustained lobbying from regional leaders concerned about rising covid cases and the prospect of closures or lockdowns.
With more than 84 per cent of the population over the age of 12 now fully vaccinated, Draghi's government has been taking increasingly strident measures against No Vax and No Green Pass protests, recently banning them from city centres across Italy.
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: VILTVART / Shutterstock.com.
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