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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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For members

WHAT CHANGES IN ITALY

On the agenda: What’s happening in Italy this week

Airline and airport staff strikes, a cap on tourist groups' size in Venice and Republic Day celebrations: here's what to expect in Italy this week.

On the agenda: What's happening in Italy this week

Tuesday

Airline and airport staff strikes

People flying to or from Italy may face disruption on Tuesday, May 28th, due to a number of planned airline and ground airport staff strikes. 

Cabin staff at Air Dolomiti – a subsidiary of Lufthansa which operates a number of routes from northern Italy to Germany and vice versa – plan to strike for 24 hours, whereas staff at budget carrier Wizz Air plan a four-hour strike, from 1pm to 5pm. 

Scheduled flights from both airlines may experience delays and/or cancellations during the day, though services from 7am to 10am and from 6pm to 9pm will go ahead as normal according to Italy’s Civil Aviation Authority. 

On the same day, handling staff at a number of airports around the country, including Linate and Malpensa in Milan and Venice’s Marco Polo airport, will take part in a 24-hour walkout. 

The protest may result in delays or cancellations at the involved airport hubs, according to Italian media reports.

Follow the latest updates in The Local’s strike news section.

Wednesday

Fiorentina take on Olympiacos in Conference League final

Florence-based team Fiorentina will take on Greek side Olympiacos in the final act of this year’s Conference League – Europe’s third-tier football tournament after the Champions League and Europa League – at the Agia Sophia stadium in Athens on Wednesday, May 29th.

Football fans in Italy will be able to watch the final for free on TV8 (channel eight on Italian TV sets). Kickoff’s set for 9pm Italian time.

Thursday

Civil Protection to run earthquake evacuation tests in Campi Flegrei

Italy’s Civil Protection Department will run a series of planned seismic evacuation tests in Italy’s volcanic Campi Flegrei area, on Thursday, May 30th and Friday, May 31st after the region was hit by a flurry of around 150 tremors, including a powerful 4.4-magnitude quake, last Monday.

The tests are set to involve residents of Pozzuoli and Bagnoli, and will simulate a ‘type-3 situation’ – the worst possible scenario in the event of a quake. 

Located just west of Naples, the Campi Flegrei is an active volcanic caldera – the hollow left after an eruption – which is estimated to be home to around 350,000 people

Though the region is no stranger to quakes, seismic activity has intensified in the past two years, raising fears of an imminent eruption.

READ ALSO: Do scientists think the Campi Flegrei will actually erupt anytime soon?

Saturday

Venice to limit tourist groups’ size and ban loudspeakers

A planned cap on the size of tourist groups will come into force in Venice from Saturday, June 1st as part of local authorities’ efforts to reduce the pressure of thousands of visitors crowding squares, bridges and narrow calli every day, and improve the lives of locals. 

Under the measure, groups visiting the city’s historic centre and the nearby islands of Burano, Murano and Torcello, will be limited to a maximum of 25 people in a bid to promote “sustainable tourism” and ensure “the protection and safety of the city,” according to Venice’s safety councillor Elisabetta Pesce.

A view of Venice's Saint Marl's Square

A view of Venice’s Saint Marl’s Square in June 2019. Photo by Miguel MEDINA / AFP

A ban on loudspeakers will also come into force on Saturday to avoid “confusion and disturbance” in the city, Pesce said.

The measures will be introduced nearly one and a half months after Venice launched its trial of a contested five-euro entry charge for day trippers visiting the city on a total of 29 dates in 2024.

Sunday

Republic Day celebrations

Sunday, June 2nd will be a special day for people around Italy as the country will celebrate Republic Day (or Festa della Repubblica) – a national public holiday commemorating the birth of the Italian Republic as we have it today.

Republic Day marks the date in 1946 when Italians voted in a referendum to abolish the then 85-year-old monarchy, which had fallen out of favour due to its close alignment with Mussolini’s fascist regime, and establish a democratic republic.

Unfortunately, this year’s Republic Day falls on a Sunday, meaning it won’t give people in the country an extra day off.

That said, plenty of celebrations will take place on the day, especially in Rome, where an official ceremony attended by head of state Sergio Mattarella will be followed by a military parade along the Fori Imperiali and by a flyover from Italy’s Frecce Tricolori jets.

Free museum openings

People around Italy will be able to visit state-run museums and archaeological sites free of charge on Sunday, June 2nd under the popular Domenica al Museo or ‘free museum Sundays’ national scheme.

The initiative applies to hundreds of sites, including world-famous attractions like the Colosseum, Pompeii, Florence’s Galleria dell’Accademia, the Reggia di Caserta and Trieste’s Miramare Castle. 

Find out more about how the scheme works in our article.

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