COVID-19: Vaccination Obligation Dropped, Masks at Work and on Domestic Flights

The compulsory Covid-19 vaccination for Italian citizens 50 and above will come to an end as of June 15, 2022. This was announced by the Italian government on June 1, 2022.  For healthcare workers, the vaccination obligation remains until December 31.

Approximately 3,3 million Italians in this age group will be exempt from the obligation and will no longer receive a fine.

Also beginning June 1, both Italians and foreigners will no longer need to show a Green Pass to enter the country.  The usage of the passenger locator form has also been eliminated.

Whether people will be required to keep wearing their masks in certain places after June 15 is still unclear. The government will decide on that within the next 10 days.

Currently, masks are no longer mandatory—although recommended—on board aircraft flying out of Italy and in Italian airports starting the week of May 16. That is what the two aviation agencies, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the European Center for Disease Control (ACDC), announced. Patrick Ky, Director of EASA, suggested that the recommendation is not a full go-ahead, but that “[it] is the beginning of a journey.”

The decision to relax the health regulation rules on airlines is because of the high levels of vaccination and naturally acquired immunity from having contracted the disease, the EASA and ECDC explain. Relaxing the measurements goes hand in hand with the elimination of many rules in an increasing number of countries.  A basic Green Pass (comprising a negative Covid test) may be necessary to take flights out of Italy but not for travel between many European countries.

“The rules will however continue to vary from carrier to carrier,” the agencies said in a joint statement, “passengers of certain airlines may be asked to continue wearing their face mask. Clinically vulnerable travellers will have to keep the mask regardless of the rules, preferably an Ffp2 [mask].”

The Italian government, however, confirmed that the mask mandate on domestic flights will remain in place until June 15.

Until further notice, the obligation to wear Ffp2 masks has been extended until at June 30 in offices. There are, however, no sanctions for employees in case of non-compliance with the rules. In supermarkets, shops, malls, and food and hospitality establishments workers must continue wearing the masks, while their customers and clients can enter without having to wear one.  (ted de veer)

To read more in Italian, visit the La Repubblica news site.