From 1st February, Italy’s ‘basic’ green pass will be required to enter shops and public offices. Prime Minister Mario Draghi signed a new decree confirming the rules on Friday morning.
On Friday, the Italian government confirmed the expansion of the health pass requirement. It also agreed on a list of shops and services that will be exempt.
Exempt businesses include supermarkets and food shops, pharmacies, opticians, plus shops selling fuel and animal food.
The decree text reportedly states that the exemption applies to shops “related to essential and primary needs”. Those would include “retail shops with a prevalence of food and beverage products, or hypermarkets, supermarkets, food discount stores, mini-markets and other non-specialised food and beverage outlets.”
‘Basic’ Green Pass for shops
From February 1st, those who are not vaccinated or recovered will have to prove they are a negative with an authorised test. That will enable them to obtain the ‘basic’ version of the country’s green pass health certificate.
There is a currently a two-tier system in place. The ‘super’ Green Pass proves the bearer is vaccinated against or has recovered from Covid-19. These are required for access to public transport, restaurants and bars, museums and many other facilities.
The ‘basic’ Green Pass is based on rapid tests which are valid for 48 hours, while PCR or molecular test results produce a pass that remains valid for 72 hours. This version allows the holder access to hairdressers, barbers, and beauty salons, and from 1st February will be required for all ‘non-essential’ shops, public offices, banks and post offices.
Friday’s decree clarifies that the pass will not be required at police stations when filing complaints, or at shops and services “supplying drugs and medical devices” or to “healthcare services, including veterinary ones, for all purposes of prevention, diagnosis and treatment,” including for carers.
Owners or managers of the shops and offices in question will reportedly be tasked with ensuring compliance, “including with the use of random checks”. Businesses found not to be enforcing green pass requirements can face fines of up to 1,000 euros.
The requirement is set to remain in place until at least March 31st. This is the current expiry date for Italy’s state of emergency.
Reconsider coloured ‘zone’ system
Italy also has a system four-tiered system of risk classifications called ‘zones’. The Green Pass rules apply nationwide, regardless of those zones.
Under the new decree, the Italian government was also expected to “reconsider” the system of white, yellow, orange and red ‘zones’, which has been in place since November 2020. There are calls for this system to be altered or scrapped altogether.
However, there was no mention of any incoming changes to the system as of Friday morning. President of the Lombardy Region Attilio Fontana suggested a conference between regional heads and the government would be held next week instead.
“It was useful at a certain stage and now I think it needs to be modified,” he said. “The virus and its way of expanding are different, and the situation of citizens, who are largely vaccinated, is different. We must try to adapt to the new situation.”
At the moment, the system remains in place. Four more regions moved to the higher risk ‘orange’ zones on Monday – Abruzzo, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Piedmont and Sicily.