Nightclubs are the last venues to reopen under Italy’s roadmap for easing restrictions, but business owners have not been given a firm date so far.
In an interview with Italian broadcaster RTL 102.5 on Tuesday, Deputy Health Minister Andrea Costa shed some light on the matter, estimating that nightlife will be able to reopen “within the first ten days of July”.
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“This week, we will indicate a date when discos will be able to return to their activities, because this sector is still the only one without a plan and I believe it is the duty of politics to give an answer to this too,” he said.
Echoing previous statements from ministers, Costa said the ‘green pass‘ health certificate “can also be applied to discos”.
As well as allowing travel within the EU, Italy’s health certificate or certificazione verde is a requirement for those wishing to attend weddings and larger events such as fairs or concerts.
The Italian government made the details of the digital pass available online last week when its official certificazione verde website went live at www.dgc.gov.it.
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Although it seems likely, it’s not yet confirmed whether the ‘green pass’ will be required to enter nightclubs.
Industry experts have indicated that nightlife should restart within two weeks at most.
“We expect to be able to reopen on July 4th, because to go beyond that would be unsustainable. We expect common sense,” Maurizio Pasca, president the trade association of clubs with dance halls (SILB, sindacato italiano dei locali da ballo) told news agency Ansa.
“The government should not make us miss the first weekend in July, because our businesses are open at most twice a week,” he added.
“For the country, that date would not change anything, but for us it would. Also because people are already going dancing in dozens of places that, among other things, are open without a green pass. So let us reopen on July 4th and the Interior Ministry will keep a watchful eye on (rule) violations” stated Pasca.
As for the question of wearing masks, Italy is set to drop its mask-wearing rule for the outdoors from Monday in all regions classified as the lowest-risk ‘white zones’.
But what about indoor nightclubs?
So far, there hasn’t been confirmation on what the rules will be and opinions are divided on whether masks will be required at these venues or not.
Tourism Minister Massimo Garavaglia has looked to the microstate of San Marino as an example of the safe reopening of nightclubs.
The independent state returned to nightlife with a music festival, only allowing people to enter if they were vaccinated, showed a negative test result. or could prove they had recovered from Covid-19.
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Garavaglia stated it’s “a courageous choice but one that shows how it is possible to organise public events in complete safety,” reported Italian newspaper Quotidiano Nazionale.
“The success with the public also demonstrates the desire for a new start, characterising the beginning of the tourist season. A restart that the operators are making happen with their determination to end the dark chapter of the pandemic,” he added.