Expectations are the Italian government will announce its digital green pass will soon have an extended scope. It is thought the green pass will be needed for long-distance trains, indoor restaurants and other venues.
The planned extension of Italy’s certificazione verde scheme is likely to mean people will soon need one to enter nightclubs, gyms, swimming pools, sports stadiums and other venues. It may possibly include indoor seating in restaurants. For travel, it may be required for long-distance train journeys and domestic flights, though not for local public transport.
Plan given go-ahead at the weekend
The government’s comitato tecnico scientifico (CTS) – scientific advisory panel – signed off the plan over the weekend. Corriere della Sera newspaper reports ministers will finalise a new decree setting out the details on Tuesday following debates in parliament.
Last week, France announced an extension of their scheme in order to slow rising infections and encourage vaccinations. Italy’s government drew reassurance for their plans from that.
Italy brought its green pass into use on June 17th. At the moment, it is only needed to access care homes or large events like concerts, sports matches and wedding receptions.
When will the change come into effect?
There is no official confirmation, but reports suggest the new decree means the changes could come into effect as soon as next Monday, July 26th.
People from EU and Schengen zone countries, as well as the US, Canada and Japan, can also enter Italy and access venues under ‘green pass’ terms. However, they need to show equivalent health documents issued in their own country.
Why is this happening now?
The CTS pointed out the plan could allow the government to keep all Italian regions in the low-risk ‘white’ zone. That would mean health restrictions would remain at a minimum during the high season, despite rising case numbers.
The government wants to keep restrictions low and businesses open until at least the Ferragosto holiday in mid-August.
Government plans to change zone classification
The government will also change the way it decides on the zone classifications.
Currently, regions automatically move from the white to the yellow zone if they record more than 50 infections per 100,000 inhabitants in a seven-day period.
Four regions, at least, could move into the ‘yellow’ zone next week. That would mean a ban on indoor dining at restaurants and the requirement to wear masks outdoors.
Health Minister Roberto Speranza confirmed that, under a revision of the zone system, hospitalisation and intensive care occupancy rates will become more important factors in deciding whether to impose new restrictions.
“The number of infected people is rising, especially among children, but in most cases there is no need for hospitalisation and for this reason we have chosen to leave businesses open, favouring those who decide to inoculate themselves in order to prevent the circulation of the virus,” Speranza told reporters on Sunday.
Some criticism from experts
However, the plan to expand the green pass has faced criticism from some experts. They highlight the long queues in some regions for vaccination appointments. Also, free testing is not available across the whole of Italy.
Many people have reported having trouble accessing the pass due to technical issues.