SHARE
COPY LINK
For members

LIVING IN ITALY

What changes about life in Italy in February 2022?

From Carnevale to Covid-19 restrictions, here's what to expect this month if you live in Italy.

People walk in central Florence.
Photo by Miguel MEDINA / AFP

Italy’s green pass rules tightened

Several of Italy’s rules around the use of health certificates change during February.

As of Tuesday, February 1st, customers must show a ‘basic’ version of Italy’s green pass to enter banks, post offices, public offices, tobacconists, bookshops, newsagents (except outdoor kiosks) and shopping malls, according to a decree signed by Prime Minister Mario Draghi on January 21st.

The basic version of the pass is already a requirement for entry to hairdressers, barbers, and beauty salons.

These rules are in addition to the existing requirement of a ‘super’ green pass on all forms of public transport, in bars and restaurants, gyms, hotels, cinemas, theatres and sports stadiums.

READ ALSO: How do Italy’s Covid-19 rules change from February 1st?

Italy currently has a two-tiered green pass system in place, with the basic version of the pass available to those who test negative, alongside the ‘reinforced’ or ‘super’ green pass which proves the bearer is vaccinated against or has recovered from Covid-19.

From February 1st, fines can also be issued to over-50s who refuse to be vaccinated following the introduction of a vaccine mandate for this age group in January.

Those who haven’t completed their primary vaccination cycle or received their booster within the requisite timeframes also face the “one-off” 100-euro fine, the health ministry has confirmed.

From February 15th, all over-50s and staff at universities will also need the ‘super green pass’ to access workplaces.

See further details of the changing Covid-19 restrictions in Italy this month here.

Vaccine pass validity reduced from nine to six months

February 1st also sees the validity of Italy’s ‘super’ or ‘reinforced’ green pass, which can be obtained only through vaccination or recovery from Covid, reduced from nine to six months.

While Italian media reports that the government is considering extending the validity of the pass indefinitely for those who have had a third or booster dose, this change has still not been confirmed as of February 1st, and the government has not made any official statement on the issue. 

Keep an eye on our Italian ‘green pass’ news section for updates.

READ ALSO: Q&A: How will Italy’s new six-month Covid vaccine pass validity work?

A bar owner uses the VerifyC19 mobile phone application to scan a customers 'green pass' in central Rome.
A bar owner uses the VerifyC19 mobile phone application to scan a customers ‘green pass’ in central Rome. Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP

Changes to the international travel rules

Italy has confirmed travel restrictions will be simplified from the start of February for arrivals from within the European Union.

Travellers will now only need to show proof of a recent negative test result, vaccination or recovery under the EU-wide health pass scheme, rather than both proof of vaccination AND a recent negative test result to avoid a five-day quarantine on arrival.

For arrivals from non-EU countries, the existing rules will be extended another six weeks.

That means arrivals from countries on the government’s List D can continue to enter Italy without a quarantine requirement provided they can produce both a vaccination certificate and a recent negative test; while entry from countries on its more restricted List E is permitted only under specific circumstances, and comes with a ten day self-isolation requirement

READ ALSO: How do Italy’s international travel rules change from February 1st?

Non-reusable plastics banned

From February 14th, Italy will implement the EU’s ban on single-use plastics, passed in Brussels last July with the aim of reducing plastic and microplastic waste in the world’s oceans by 30 percent by 2050.

Biodegradable and compostable plastic is exempt from the ban, but companies caught selling other single use plastic products will be subject to fines of between 2,500 and 25,000 euros, according to online magazine Benessere Economico.

Carnevale celebrations – and school holidays

Like France’s Mardi Gras, Carnevale is traditionally the Christian celebration before the restrictions of Lent begin on Ash Wednesday (February 14th). Parades, festivals and events take place across Italy, bringing a burst of colour to the dull month of February. Check your local comune‘s website for details of events in your area.

Some lucky schoolchildren in Italy also enjoy a holiday for carnevale. In the northern regions of Piedmont and Veneto, for example, the break begins on the 26th and 28th of February respectively. Holidays vary by region – see a calendar with 2022 dates for each part of the country here.

Sanremo Music Festival

The 2022 edition of the Sanremo Music Festival kicks off on Tuesday, February 1st. Love it or hate it, this is Italy’s answer to Eurovision and a major date in the nation’s cultural calendar. Here are ten facts about Sanremo to impress your Italian friends with.

Member comments

  1. I haven’t seen any official news from the government related to nightclubs and dance venues, in a normal world this would likely mean the decree will not be extended but based on how they managed the ski resorts last year I think no news is bad news and the chances are we’ll be hearing this weekend that the decree will be extended another month – which is devastating for the night time economy and the ski resort hospitality.

  2. Just wondering if you know whether you will need the green pass to enter the Questura, to pick up a permesso di sorgiorno. My wife is waiting for her tessera, which has been processed. Until then she can’t get her third dose, thus her green pass expires 1February. Thank you.

    1. Hi, you will need a ‘basic’ version of a green pass to enter the Questura and other public offices from Feb 1st, but not for “essential” reasons. The relevant decree doesn’t specify whether picking up a residency permit is classed is essential, so we can only suggest checking with the Questura.

      In the meantime, it may be possible to book a third dose without the tessera – here are some more details:
      https://www.thelocal.it/20220111/can-foreigners-in-italy-use-the-national-covid-vaccination-booking-website/
      https://www.thelocal.it/20210610/how-to-try-to-get-a-covid-19-vaccine-without-a-health-card-in-your-region-of-italy/

      With best wishes,
      – Clare

      1. So in her case, since her original green expires February 1, she would need either her third dose thus resetting here green pass or a negative Covid test in the requisite timeframe 72/48 hours?

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members

WHAT CHANGES IN ITALY

Everything that changes in Italy in December 2022

From a new 24-hour national strike to the much-awaited Christmas holidays, here’s a look at the important dates in December if you live in Italy.

Everything that changes in Italy in December 2022

Fuel discounts halved from December 1st

The current cut on fuel duties – 30.5 cents on every litre of petrol or diesel – will be halved starting from December 1st, thus bringing the discount down to around 18.3 cents per litre.

The discount on methane – 10.4 cents per litre – will instead remain unchanged.

The measure, which was included in the 2023 budget law earlier this week, has already attracted significant criticism from consumer groups, with the president of Codacons, Carlo Rienzi, condemning it as an “absurd move” that will have “grave effects” on residents’ livelihood. 

Furthermore, the secretary of the Democratic Party (PD), Enrico Letta, has recently announced that the fuel discounts reduction is one of the main reasons behind the national protest scheduled for Saturday, December 17th.

24-hour national strike 

Travel to, from and across Italy will continue to be disrupted by strikes during the last month of 2022. 

The demonstration that’s currently expected to create the greatest amount of disruption will take place on Friday, December 2nd and it’ll be a 24-hour national strike affecting airline and rail travel as well as local public transport. 

Staff from Spanish airline Vueling and public transport operators in Udine, Trieste, La Spezia, Naples, Foggia and Bari have already announced that they will take part in the strike.

According to the latest local media reports, disruptions might also affect travel on Milan’s ATM lines. 

As always, we will keep you regularly updated on the strike over the following days.

Feast of the Immaculate Conception

Thursday, December 8th is a public holiday in Italy as residents celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (Festa dell’Immacolata Concezione).

While many believe the feast commemorates Mary’s conception of Jesus, it actually refers to the conception of Mary herself – her conception was ‘immaculate’, Catholics believe, because God intervened, absolving Mary of original sin.

Most Italian residents celebrate the Festa dell’Immacolata with a big family lunch, but some also hold firework displays or light bonfires outside. 

December 8th unofficially marks the beginning of the Christmas period, with most towns putting up their Christmas lights in the days preceding the date and pretty much everything in the country – especially administration-related procedures – noticeably slowing down from this point on.

As a word of advice then, you might want to get any important paperwork done before December 8th, or else you may have to wait until January 6th, when the Italian holidays officially end.

World Cup final 

Despite being plagued with controversy over its host’s poor human rights record, the Qatar 2022 World Cup is now underway, and many football fans in Italy will be following along.

READ ALSO: How to find football World Cup matches on Italian TV

December 18th is when the final match of the tournament will take place, and bars and sports venues up and down the country will be screening the event.

However, since Italy’s national team failed to qualify this year, it’s unlikely there will be lots of disruption on the day.

May the best team win!

Winter solstice

As always, the winter solstice (solstizio d’inverno) will fall on December 21st.

The winter solstice, which is when the Earth’s northern hemisphere is tilted the furthest away from the Sun, will mark the official beginning of the astronomical winter (December 21st-March 20th).

It’ll also be the shortest day of the year as residents will only have between eight and a half and nine and a half hours of daylight depending on their geographical location.

Christmas holidays 

This Christmas looks set to be Italy’s first in two years without any Covid restrictions.

That means the country’s traditional Christmas markets, a number of which were cancelled last year due to safety concerns, should be up and running again this December.

Contrary to what some may think, December 24th (Christmas Eve) is not an official public holiday in Italy. However, many companies do give their staff the day off as a gesture of goodwill, so don’t forget to speak with your employer to know what they’ll be offering you this year.

Unlike December 24th, December 25th (Christmas Day) is a public holiday but, quite sadly, it falls on a Sunday this year, which means there will be no extra day off.

That said, residents do eventually get a day off on Monday, December 26th, known as St Stephen’s Day in Italy and Boxing Day in English-speaking countries.

New Year’s Eve celebrations

This year, residents will be ringing in the New Year on a Saturday, which, once again, means no extra day off for most.

That said, we doubt that the unlucky coincidence will somehow dampen celebrations, especially since the past two editions were dulled to some extent by social restrictions and a not-so-bright collective mood. 

READ ALSO: Red pants, smashed plates and bingo: Six reasons Italian New Year is awesome

So, it certainly seems like locals will finally be able to go back to the good old ways, thus eating lots of lentils, engaging in wild games of tombola (a game similar to bingo) and hurling crockery out of their windows. 

For a full guide on how to do New Year’s Eve like a true Italian, see our article on the subject.

Italy’s budget law deadline 

After weeks of back-to-back consultations between ministers, Italy’s new cabinet unveiled its 2023 draft budget law earlier this week, with parliament now having until December 31st to approve the law’s text.

The new budget bill includes measures amounting to a total of 35 billion euros, with more than 21 billion going towards supporting households and businesses in the face of soaring utility bills.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: Why people in Italy might have to carry more cash from now on

In a press conference held on Tuesday, Giorgia Meloni praised the bill as a “bold move” centred on “social justice”, but opposition parties have since condemned the government’s latest round of financial measures as “rash and unfair”.

Furthermore, the cabinet’s decision to suspend fines for businesses refusing card payments has been recently dubbed as a “gift to tax dodgers”.

SHOW COMMENTS