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Parents in Italy to require Covid green pass to enter schools

Parents of schoolchildren in Italy are now required to produce a green pass in order to access school buildings, according to a new legislative decree passed on Thursday.

Photo: Pascal GUYOT / AFP
Photo: Pascal GUYOT / AFP

The decree extends the Covid-19 green pass requirement to more workers in schools and healthcare facilities, while authorities prepare a roadmap to broaden the scheme to further employees.

While the text of the decree itself does not specifically mention parents, Italian media outlets noted on Friday that only children and students are exempted from the obligation, meaning that anyone wanting to enter in order to pick up their child or attend parent-teacher meetings must have the pass.

The decision was made “to deal with the Covid-19 emergency in schools, higher education and social and health care facilities,” Prime Minister Mario Draghi is reported to have said during the cabinet meeting on Thursday.

The move was welcomed by schools, many of which had already adopted the measure of their own accord, reports the news daily Il Messaggero. 

READ ALSO: UPDATE: Italy approves mandatory Covid ‘green pass’ in more workplaces

Lionel BONAVENTURE / AFP

“It seems to me an absolutely positive initiative,” Antonello Giannelli, president of the National Association of Deans, told the outlet, “because in this way we are further reducing the chances of contagion. We had asked on several occasions for the opportunity to extend the green pass to everyone because, otherwise, a hole would have been opened in the fight against contagion.”

Giannelli added that the move would require additional support for employees tasked with conducting the checks, and said that schools would need to hire more support staff. “For years now there have been fewer of them than we need, but the work to be done continues to increase,” he said.

The obligation will remain in place until at least December 21, 2021, which is when Italy’s state of emergency is currently due to expire. 

External workers and parents caught entering a school building without the pass could face fines of between €400 and €1,000 (different penalties apply for individuals employed directly by the school).

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: How Italy has tightened the ’green pass’ rules in September

Andreas SOLARO / AFP

The digital pass has been required since August 6th in order to enter many cultural and leisure venues across Italy, including museums, theatres, gyms, and indoor seating in restaurants.  

The health certificate proves bearers have either been vaccinated with at least one dose, have recovered from Covid-19 within the past six months, or have tested negative in the previous 48 hours.

READ ALSO: Italy sets fines of up to €1,000 for breaking Covid ‘green pass’ workplace rules

From September 1st the digital pass became a requirement for teachers and other school staff, while healthcare workers in Italy were already legally required to be fully vaccinated before the pass was introduced.

While the government is also considering whether to make Covid vaccinations obligatory for the entire population, it has pinned hopes on the scheme helping Italy reach the target of vaccinating 80 percent of the population over the age of 12 by the end of September.

The current figure as of Thursday stands at just under 73 percent, according to the latest government data.

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COVID-19 RULES

Masks to remain mandatory on Italian flights after May 16th

It will still be obligatory for passengers to wear masks on flights to Italy until mid-June, despite the end of the EU-wide requirement on Monday, May 16th, the Italian government has confirmed.

Masks to remain mandatory on Italian flights after May 16th

The Italian government reiterated on Friday that its current mask-wearing rules remain in place until June 15th, reports newspaper Corriere della Sera.

This means the mask mandate will still apply to all air passengers travelling to or from Italy, despite the end of an EU-wide requirement to wear masks on flights and at airports across the bloc from Monday.

READ ALSO: Reader question: What type of mask will I need for travel to Italy?

National regulations take precedence, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) confirmed when announcing the end of the EU rules.

“Wearing face masks at airports and inflight should be aligned with national measures on wearing masks in public transport and transport hubs,” they said in a joint statement published on May 11th.

READ ALSO: Why are so many Italians still wearing face masks in shops?

“If either the departure or destination States require the wearing of face masks on public transport, aircraft operators should require passengers and crew to comply with those requirements inflight, beyond 16 May 2022.

“Further, as of 16 May 2022, aircraft operators, during their pre-flight communications as well as during the flight, should continue to encourage their passengers and crew members to wear face masks during the flight as well as in the airport, even when wearing a face mask is not required”.

The Spanish government also said on Thursday that air passengers would have to continue wearing face masks on planes.

Italy’s current rules specify that higher-grade FFP2 masks should be worn on all forms of public transport, including buses, trams, regional and high-speed trains, ferries, and planes.

Though rules were eased in some settings from May 1st, masks also remain a requirement until June 15th at Italy’s cinemas and theatres, hospitals and care homes, indoor sporting event and concert venues, schools and universities.

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