The Italian government confirmed on Wednesday evening that the Green Pass validity will become unlimited in certain cases. A recent cut to the validity of vaccine passes in Italy will not apply to those who have had a booster.
On Wednesday evening (2nd February 2022), the Italian government confirmed that the recent cut to the validity of vaccine passes will not apply to those who have had a booster shot.
“The validity of the green pass will become unlimited for those who have had three doses – or two doses and have already had Covid-19”, read a tweet from the prime minister’s office.
A later press release provided further clarification. Saying it applied “after the completion of the primary vaccination cycle”, meaning it also applies to people who received the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Six-month validity of Super Green Pass only for ‘two doses’
On Tuesday, February 1st, the validity of Italy’s ‘super’ or ‘reinforced’ green pass reduced to six months. Now, that will only apply to those who have not had the booster jab.
The six-month validity rule was revised just a day after it came into force on Tuesday. The reduction in validity meant those who had their booster shots six months ago would shortly have found their Green Passes invalid.
As there is no fourth dose available, tens of thousands of people risked losing access to workplaces, public transport and much of public life.
Indeed, an Italy News Online staff member, who received their booster on Saturday, within six months of their last jab, found they were unable to access their post office account today. When scanned at the post office, their Super Green Pass showed as invalid – clearly a delay or error in the system. Despite having paper documents to prove the booster had been received, they were prevented from accessing their own account.
This could have been, and may still be, an issue for thousands more of the triple-jabbed in the coming weeks; clearly not a sensible state of affairs.
The rule change will be introduced within a new decree. Within the decree, restrictions for the vaccinated under the four-tiered ‘zone’ system, including ‘red zones’, will go, the prime minister’s office said.
There have been growing concerns that Italy’s tight rules on proof of vaccination could deter tourists. The tourism and hospitality industry was badly hit during the pandemic, and there were concerns the restrictions would impact tourisms’ renaissance.
New rules for tourists
Travellers from countries with different vaccination rules than Italy, and who cannot therefore show valid proof of vaccination, will now instead be able to use a ‘basic’ green pass. The ‘basic’ pass is accessible with a negative test result only. It will allow access to places such as hotels and restaurants where a vaccination pass was previously required.
To date, Italy recognises proof of full vaccination in any country on par with its own vaccination certificate or ‘super’ green pass. However, these must be with a vaccine approved by the European or Italian medicines agency and must meet other criteria to be recognised as valid.
Health passes issued in any other European member state are automatically recognised in Italy.
“Today’s measures go in the direction of an even greater reopening of the country”, Prime Minister Mario Draghi said during the meeting according to reports from national broadcaster Rai.
“In the coming weeks we will continue on this path towards reopening,” he said. “Based on the scientific evidence, and continuing to follow the trend of the epidemiological curve, we will announce a timeline for overcoming the current restrictions”.
The new decree is expected to come into force from February 7th, according to Rai.
How long is the Green Pass system in place for?
The Green Pass system is only valid whilst the country is in a state of emergency. The expiry date for the current state of emergency is March 31st, 2022. This would mean that in a matter of weeks, the Green Pass itself will become invalid.
However, the government could try and create a new law around covid vaccination. However, not all parties would back such a move.
Boosters are available to everyone in Italy aged over 18 from four months after completion of the initial vaccination cycle. According to the latest government data, 83% of the eligible Italian population has not received a third dose.