Italy has approved a decreto riaperturam “‘reopening decree” to phase out the remaining Covid-19 restrictions starting Apr. 1, said Prime Minister Mario Draghi on Thursday.
According to local media, the regulation will outline the progressive easing of the Italian Green Pass from Apr. 1 and the abolition from May 1 in all settings except hospitals and nursing homes.
The decision implies that proof of a Covid-19 vaccine or recent recovery will no longer be necessary to gain access to a number of services, including restaurants, gyms, and even public transport.
The requirement for people 50 and older to show a vaccination card to enter their workplace will also expire on April 1.
“These are important measures that remove almost all the curbs that have restricted us,” Prime Minister Mario Draghi told reporters following a cabinet meeting.
“I would also like to thank all Italians for their altruism and patience over the years. We are often perceived as having little sense of civic duty, but instead, we have done very well in this pandemic. We should be proud,” he said.
On March 31, the state of emergency that empowers authorities to bypass bureaucracy and implement rules by decree will come to an end. As of that date, the panel of experts that advises the government on Covid-19 related matters will be dissolved.
Despite the good news for visitors and locals, the Italian pandemic appears to be far from over.
In Italy, but also in other EU countries such as France and the Netherlands, Covid infections are on the rise again, favored by the relaxation anti-coronavirus efforts and the spread of a new subvariant of Omicron, known as BA.2.
The number of reported cases has prompted Nino Cartabellotta, president of Gimbe, the Italian Foundation for Evidence-Based Medicine, to call the government’s plans to remove mandatory indoor masks as pure “madness.”
Meanwhile, the prime minister has warned the country that if the cases rise again, restrictions will be reinstated.
“[Today] we took fundamental steps toward reopening” the country, Draghi said.
“But naturally we are observing with great attention how the epidemiological curve is going, and we’re ready to adapt [the measures].”