Italy’s State of Emergency Ends March 31, with Easing of Anti-Covid Restrictions

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Since February 2020—when northern Italy was Europe’s epicenter of the Covid-19 health crisis—Italy has been in a state of emergency, one that Prime Minister Mario Draghi intends to end on March 31, 2022 (below is an overview of all the steps in this gradual process, which will continue through June 15).

Draghi made this announcement during a speech at the Mediterranean Frontier of Peace forum (part of the four-day Conference of the Mediterranean), at Florence’s Teatro del Maggio.

“The government’s intention is to not extend the state of emergency beyond March 31,” Draghi announced, “after which zone system with restrictions defined by color will no longer be in force. […]. We will gradually end the obligation to use the Super Green Pass, starting with outdoor activities. […]. The goal is to reopen as soon as possible. We will continue to carefully monitor the pandemic situation, ready to intervene [if necessary].”

Currently, Italy operates according to the Super Green Pass, meaning that complete vaccination or recovery is needed for access to everything from hotels and restaurants to public transport and workplaces. The health crisis, with beds in intensive care occupied by COVID patients as a result of the pandemic, is improving at a fast rate thanks to the success of the vaccination campaign.

The zone system is organized into four classifications according to color, which reflects the current health and emergency status in a specific region; each defines anti-Covid measures for local residents. The “white” zone is the least restrictive, followed by “yellow,” “orange” and “red” zones, with the latter imposing a lockdown and curfew. Abolishing the zone system means the end of limitations throughout the entire country.

March 1

Non-EU travelers arriving in Italy will be able to enter Italy according to the same rules of EU travelers: to have a certification of vaccination, recovery or, in absence of either, a negative molecular PCR test result carried out within 72 hours of arrival or a rapid antigen test result carried out within 48 hours of arrival.

Also, capacity of stadiums and indoor sports facilities will increase (to 75% and 60% respectively).

March 10

Theatres, entertainment venues and cinemas (and all other entertainment related organizations) will be allowed to serve food and beverages again. Along with this, one can now visit family members in the hospital, but for no more that 45 minutes.

March 31

State of emergency officially ends.

April 1

Schools will remain open for everyone. The requirement to wear masks outdoors will cease everywhere, along with FFP2 masks in the classroom. The zone system, organized according to color reflecting restrictions, will no longer be in force.

June 15

The obligation of the Green Pass for those 50 and up in the workplace will eliminated, just as the vaccination obligation for people over 50. The “Super Green Pass” from now on will only “Green certification for vaccination or recovery,” negative test results are not included.  (ted de veer)