Italy’s January 2022 Decree Aims to Decrease Omicron Cases of COVID-19

San Gimignano

With new Covid-19 cases daily hitting over 100,000 (126,888 on December 30), the Italian government has announced new, stricter regulations designed to slow down the effects of the highly infectious Omicron variant in the new year, starting on January 10, 2022.

Starting on January 10, a ‘Super Green Pass’ (issued to those who are vaccinated twice or recovered from COVID-19), will be required to take all public transportation, to have an espresso standing up at café counter, to dine at a restaurant even on the patio or sidewalk, to book a hotel, to attend a wedding, fair, congress or conference and go to a ski or hot spring resort.  Seating at stadiums will be reduced to 50% capacity outdoors, 25% indoors.  The temporary ‘normal’ Green Pass, valid for 48 or 72 hours is granted to those with a negative Covid test, will not be accepted in these places.

The idea is to encourage vaccinations among the 5,500,000 Italians (out of a population of 60,000,000) who have not yet received their first jab.

Regarding quarantine, the rules will change beginning on December 31, 2021:  people who had been vaccinated twice or have received the third booster shot who have come in contact with a infected person must wear a highly filtering FFP2 mask everywhere, both indoor and outdoors for 10 days, not go to cinema, theater or museums during that time, and take a Covid test five days after initial exposure.

Under the same circumstances, people who have not yet received a booster vaccination four months after the second jab must quarantine for five days (as opposed to the current seven days), while anti-vaxxers are obliged to self-isolate at home for 10 days, followed in both cases by a Covid test.  For the asymptomatic, quarantine drops to seven days instead of 10; again testing at the end is required before going out.

The government is planning to decrease the price of FFP2 masks, now a necessity on board public transportation.  (rosanna cirigliano)