Italy brings in new covid restrictions over the Christmas season.
Italy's new two-tiered covid Green Pass system, which comes into force on Monday 6 December, will restrict the movements of those who are unvaccinated.
The motive behind the contentious new Super Green Pass regulations - in place until at least 15 January - is to stem the spread of covid-19 infections over the busy festive season and boost the government's vaccination drive.
So what is the difference between the Green Pass and the new Super Green Pass?
The Green Pass is a certificate proving that the holder has been vaccinated against covid, recovered within the last six months or tested negative in the last couple of days.
Since it was introduced in the summer, the scope of the Green Pass has been expanded progressively and it is now required for a multitude of social, cultural and leisure activities as well as being mandatory in the workplace.
The new Super Green Pass is a "reinforced" version of the "basic" Green Pass and only applies to those who have been vaccinated or recovered from covid-19.
The Super Green Pass cannot be obtained via a negative covid test result, resulting in significant repercussions for people who are unvaccinated.
#Covid19 On line la tabella con le attività consentite dal 6/12/2021 al 15/1/2022 senza #greenpass / con greenpass “base” / con greenpass “rafforzato” #Faq https://t.co/q5GTzxKMjh
— Palazzo_Chigi (@Palazzo_Chigi) December 5, 2021
From 6 December the unvaccinated will not be able to access indoor restaurants, bars, cinemas, theatres, concerts, night clubs or sports stadiums.
Another novelty is that the "basic" Green Pass will become mandatory for hotels, changing rooms in sporting facilities, on regional rail transport and local public transport networks.
Until now the Green Pass was only required for high-speed trains and long-distance travel.
From 6 December it will also be mandatory for commuting on local buses, trams and subways, with police and public transport officials designated to carry out checks.
One important aspect that does not change in relation to the Green Pass is that unvaccinated workers can still access their workplace using the current system of getting tested every couple of days.
This is not the case however for police, teachers and the military who must undergo compulsory vaccination, with effect from 15 December, or face being suspended without pay.
Neither version of the Green Pass applies to children under the age of 12.
Those who already have a valid Green Pass for vaccination or recovery do not have to download a new certificate because the VerificaC19 App will recognise its validity.
What happens if a region changes colour?
Italy's colour-coded system of coronavirus restrictions adds an extra dimension to the Super Green Pass, with rules changing based on the colour of a city or region.
Currently most of Italy is in the lowest-risk white zone with the exception of the northern Friuli Venezia Giulia and Alto Adige regions and the southern Calabria region which have entered the low-moderate risk yellow zone.
The Super Green Pass rules will apply in each of the four colours (white, yellow, orange and red), however once a region passes into the medium-risk orange zone then the unvaccinated will not be permitted to enter a café, even for a coffee standing at the bar, or sitting at a restaurant table outside.
If a city or region enters the highest-risk red zone then the rules and lockdown restrictions will apply to everyone, regardless of whether they are vaccinated or not.
The 'basic' Green Pass is required to enter museums, in white and yellow zones, while the Super Green Pass is needed to get into all cinemas, theatres and concert venues.
The Green Pass is not required for shopping malls however if the region passes into the orange zone then the Super Green Pass is required at weekends and public holidays, reports news agency ANSA.
Although not a national law, many cities including Rome and Milan have brought in rules requiring masks outdoors in crowded shopping areas in the centre.
Parties and ceremonies
The Green Pass is required to attend parties and ceremonies such as baptisms, communions and weddings in the yellow zone, however once the region passes into the orange zone the Super Green Pass is needed.
No certificate of either kind is required to go to the hairdresser, beautician, barber, all other shops and public offices.
Reaction to Super Green Pass
Those in favour of the move say that people who are vaccinated should not be subject to the same restrictions as those who have chosen not to get the vaccine.
The unvaccinated claim it will further suppress their freedoms, likening the system to "apartheid", and saying it is essentially an attempt to coerce them into getting vaccinated.
With almost 85 per cent of the population over the age of 12 now double-vaccinated, the government of Mario Draghi continues to clamp down on the No Vax movement, banning protests against the Green Pass 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: Tgcom24 Mediaset
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