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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?

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LIVING IN ITALY

What you need to know about microchipping your pet in Italy

Microchipping is required for all dogs in Italy, as well as for cats and ferrets kept as pets in certain circumstances. Here's what pet owners need to know.

What you need to know about microchipping your pet in Italy

Under Italian law, all dogs in the country must be identified and registered on a national database.

For dogs born before 2004, a clearly legible tattoo (e.g., on the dog’s ear) is accepted in lieu of a microchip. For those born after, microchips are the only accepted form of identification.

The chip should be inserted within two months of the dog’s birth; owners who miss this deadline could incur fines amounting to several hundred euros.

READ ALSO: From barking to cleaning: The culture shocks to expect if you own a dog in Italy

The chip is small – similar in width to a grain of rice and about twice as long – and is inserted just under the skin with a needle slightly thicker than that used for injections. It might cause minor discomfort in the moment, but shouldn’t hurt.

A microchip is not a GPS tracker, so can’t be used to find missing dogs – but it does contain key information about the dog as well as the owner’s contact details, allowing lost dogs to easily be reunited with their families.

The procedure can be performed by a vet from the local health authority (Azienda Sanitaria Locale, or Asl) or an authorised independent vet. The cost varies between regions, but you’ll generally be charged around €10-25 at the Asl and €20-50 at a private practice.

Your vet will then enter your dog into the national registry with their microchip number and your tax code (codice fiscale). The registry entry will include mention of the dog’s name, gender, breed, size, age and colour, and the owner’s name, address, and telephone number.

READ ALSO: Moving to Italy with pets? Here’s what you need to know

If a dog gets a new owner, the national database should be updated within fifteen days of the transfer. Your vet will provide an ownership transfer form which should be signed by both the old and new owner and filled out with the new owner’s details.

Italy doesn’t have a blanket requirement for any pets other than dogs to be microchipped, but it’s still required in some circumstances.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: Do renters in Italy have the right to keep pets?

Cats and ferrets kept as pets (as well as dogs) brought into Italy from outside the country must also be marked with a 15-digit ISO 11784/11785 compliant microchip, or with a clearly legible tattoo if it was applied before July 3rd, 2011.

If you’re resident in Italy and want to take your pet cat or ferret on holiday abroad, they’ll also need to be microchipped in order to receive a ‘pet passport’ to allow them to travel in and out of the country.

While Italy does not have national laws requiring cats to be microchipped, each region has its own rules – so you’ll want to check what the law is in your local area.

Lombardy, for example, made it obligatory on January 1st, 2020 for all cats in its territory born after that date to get chipped.

Regardless of whether it’s a legal requirement, many people opt to have their cat microchipped to make sure they stand the best chance of being reunited in case their pet wanders a little too far from home and loses their way.

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