Italy’s latest decree regarding the country’s Covid rules came into force over the weekend. However, there was very little change for the majority of the population. Further rules are up for renewal on February 10th and 15th.
The government’s weekend update contained measures which altered the quarantine rules in schools. It also effectively scrapped the nationwide coloured ‘zone’ system for the 90% of the population who are vaccinated.
The decree also aimed to make it easier for visitors to access venues and services under the country’s health pass scheme – including if they’ve had a vaccine not currently recognised by Italian authorities. Prime Minister Mario Draghi said the measures were “going in the direction of an even greater reopening of the country”, according to reports from national broadcaster Rai.
“In the coming weeks we will continue on this path towards reopening,” he said.
However, these changes do not equate to any real significant easing of restrictions.
Peak reached in January
On Friday, the health minister hailed the beginning of “a new phase” as Italy exceeded 90% vaccination.
“We’ve got 91% of Italians over the age of 12 who have received their first dose of an anti-Covid vaccine. 88% who’ve had two doses and have completed the primary cycle, and almost 35 million having had the booster too,” Roberto Speranza told reporters.
“This enables us to open a new phase in the fight against Covid. We still have to keep our feet on the ground and remain prudent, but for the first time in many weeks we are looking with confidence at the numbers, which are finally improving”.
While the state of affairs is more positive overall, health experts continue to urge caution.
Next updates on Covid rules
The next update on the country’s Covid restrictions is due by February 10th. Then the outdoor mask mandate and the closure of nightclubs and dance venues are up for review again.
On the other hand, on February 15th green pass rules are scheduled to tighten for the over-50s. A reinforced or ‘super’ green pass will become mandatory in workplaces for this age group.
The Italian green pass system itself is not expected to be scaled back anytime soon. In fact, some experts including Walter Ricciardi, a health minister advisor, maintain it must stay in place over summer “at least”.
Green Pass expiration
These Covid rules can only remain in force however under the nationwide state of emergency. Italy’s state of emergency is currently set to expire on March 31st, 2022. The government has not yet stated whether it will be extended further or not.