New COVID Regulations Starting January 6

A view of Florence from Porta San Niccolò

In the face of 180,000 new Covid contagions per day (18,286 in Tuscany only), the Italian government has issued a new decree with even more stringent regulations designed to step up safety protocols starting on January 6, 2022.  The government also highly recommends working from home whenever possible, although this will not affect vaccination requirements.

As of January 6, 2022 (Epiphany, a national holiday) through June 15, ages 50 and above resident in Italy must be vaccinated except those with a doctor’s certificate attesting that the anti-Covid vaccine would be dangerous for their health.  The same holds true for all ages in the following categories: doctors, nurses, all health workers, teachers and school personnel, the military and police.

Beginning on January 10, a ‘Super Green Pass’ (issued upon vaccination or recovery from COVID) will be necessary in order to take public transportation, eat in a restaurant indoors or out, have a coffee at the counter of a bar or café, make a hotel reservation, attend a wedding or other public ceremony, in addition to accessing cinemas, theaters, museums, conferences and congresses, gyms, swimming pools, ski and hot spring resorts, sport events, stadiums and amusement parks.

Starting on January 20, either a ‘Super Green Pass’ or a ‘normal Green Pass’ (the latter issued after Covid tests, currently 72 hours for PCR results  and 48 hours for rapid testing) will be required to go to the hairdresser or hairstylist, the nail salon and any beauty or wellness center in addition to shopping centers.

This will not apply at supermarkets, grocery stores and pharmacies.

From February 1 onwards, a ‘Super Green Pass’ or a ‘normal Green Pass’ will be required to enter banks, post offices, city, state and other public administrative offices.

As of February 15, all employees, free-lance professionals, artisans and the otherwise self-employed 50 and up without a ‘Super Green Pass’ will be fined for not complying; €600 to €1500 at the place of work, €100 elsewhere.

At Italian schools, the following measures have been introduced:

— if a nursery school attendee tests positive for COVID-19, the children are sent home for 10 days.

— if a pupil at an elementary school tests positive, he or she is sent home, and the entire class will be tested immediately and again after five days free of charge with government funding.  If a second Covid case or more is discovered, remote learning (Dad, or didattica a distanza) is implemented.

— in middle and high schools, if one student in a class is infected and is sent home, the others can continue in presence by wearing a highly filter FFP2 mask; in the case of two contagions in a class, the non-infected ones can continue in presence by wearing a FFP2 mask if they have been vaccinated at least twice in the past four months, otherwise learning continues via remote.

If three COVID cases are found in the same class, lessons will continue online.  (rosanna cirigliano)