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LIVING IN ITALY

What changes about life in Italy in September 2021?

From the expanded ‘green pass’ requirements to the return to school, here are the changes September 2021 will bring to Italy.

What changes about life in Italy in September 2021?
People enjoy the view from San Giorgio island in front of Venice's historical center. Ludovic MARIN / AFP

The long, hot Italian summer is now coming to an end and the rientro is imminent. As the country gets moving again in September, there are plenty of changes in store.

Some are confirmed, others still speculative, but each of the following may have an impact on your life in Italy soon. 

Here’s what to be aware of in the coming weeks.

Covid ‘green pass’ expansion

Proof of vaccination, testing or recovery via the certificazione verde or ‘green pass’ scheme has been required since August 6th in order to enter many cultural and leisure venues across Italy, including museums, theatres, gyms, and indoor seating in restaurants.

From September 1st the health pass will also become a requirement for teachers and other school staff, as well as on long-distance public transport including interregional trains and domestic flights.

Q&A: Your questions answered about Italy’s Covid health pass

For schools, this is a key part of the government’s strategy to ensure that pupils can learn in person, after constantly changing Covid restrictions kept them in and out of classrooms for much of the past 18 months – though some details remain to be finalised, such as who’ll be checking all those certificates every day.

The government is also considering a further expansion which would make the pass mandatory for employees at workplaces deemed essential, including public offices and supermarkets.

Photo: Andreas SOLARO / AFP

Some Italian regions risk new Covid restrictions

As of August 30th, Sicily became the first Italian region to be placed under yellow zone restrictions once more as new weekly cases and Covid hospitalisation rates rose.

Until then, all of Italy’s regions had been classified as a low-restriction ‘white zone’ since the end of June.

More regions are thought to be at risk of having restrictions re-imposed in the coming weeks. Calabria, and Sardinia are currently thought to be at the highest risk of moving into the yellow zone.

Yellow zone restrictions require that masks are worn in all public spaces, including outdoors, and that restaurants may only seat a maximum of four people per table (unless the group is co-habiting) though indoor dining is allowed, according to the Health Ministry.

However there is no evening curfew, and travel between Sicily and other Italian regions is not restricted.

‘Decisive’ month for vaccination campaign

The number of Covid-19 vaccines administered in Italy throughout August was up to 60% lower than in July. But despite the summer slowdown, authorities remain confident about meeting the goal of vaccinating 80 percent of the eligible population by September 30th.

Health ministry officials said this week that September “will be decisive” for the vaccination campaign, as the numbers of vaccinations and appointment bookings in the coming weeks should give a clearer understanding of how many people in Italy are refusing the vaccine.

Vaccination coverage by the end of the month will inform the health ministry’s decisions on whether and how to enforce new health measures if the infection rate continues to rise.

Photo: Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP

Schools return with mask requirements and distancing measures

The start of the school year will be staggered across Italy’s regions, with schools in South Tyrol the first to reopen on September 6th, followed by re-openings in Abruzzo, Basilicata, Emilia Romagna, Lazio, Lombardy, Piedmont, Trentino, Umbria, Valle d’Aosta and (elementary and middle school only) Veneto on September 13th; Sardinia on September 14th; Campania Liguria, Marche, Molise and Tuscany on September 15th; Friuli Venezia Giulia, Sicily and (high school only) Veneto on September 16th; and Calabria and Puglia bringing up the rear on September 20th.

Students from the age of six will still be required to wear masks in the classroom this year, while in nurseries and kindergartens only teachers will be need to be masked. Schools are expected to distribute masks to both staff and students.

EXPLAINED: What parents in Italy should know about new Covid rules in schools

To keep crowds to a minimum, only one parent will be allowed to accompany their child directly outside the school building for drop offs and pick ups, and schools will have separate designated entrance and exit zones.

In the event that a teacher or student tests positive for Covid, a quarantine of seven days will be triggered for classmates who are vaccinated, and ten days for the unvaccinated, with affected students moving to distance learning.

Photo: Vincenzo PINTO / AFP

Changes to the rules on travel from some non-EU countries

Rules for travel to Italy have changed in response to the developing coronavirus situation. The Italian health ministry’s new travel ordinance came into force at the end of August, tightening restrictions on travel from some countries, and lifting them for others.

New restrictions on arrivals from the US, Canada, Japan and Israel mean they must now show proof of vaccination AND testing.

Meanwhile the quarantine rule for UK travellers was lifted, providing they can show proof of vaccination and testing.

Find more details here about the major changes to be aware of if you’re visiting or returning to Italy in September.

New travel restrictions for EU citizens travelling to the UK

September 30th will be the last day that EU citizens will be allowed to enter the UK using their EU identity cards, unless they meet certain criteria such as having settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme or having a frontier worker permit.

If you are travelling to the UK with an Italian partner, friend or relative from October 1st onwards, remind them that they will need a passport.

Member comments

  1. The concept of selling off deserted villages to private interests will possibly restore the villages to some degree of habitability if enough money is put into their restoration. It will also, should there be a change in property values, benefit the private investors.
    Deserted villages are not just about houses in which to live. They are questions. Why did the village become deserted in the first place…
    Access, ( height above sea level, transport connections etc, distance from major conurbations…. distance from friends and family.)
    Facilities. The loss of shops, bars, schools, doctors and other communal resources… for the elderly, the young, especially babies and their local health care.

    A more localised, communal and socially organised answer to the loss of villages, even State sponsored or EU sponsored, and dare I say, even CHURCH sponsored initiatives, would be of more benefit to local communities living in or near lost villages and towns. Organise options, don’t privatise the beauty of Italian villages and towns.

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For members

LIVING IN ITALY

EXPLAINED: How can you stop nuisance phone calls in Italy?

If it seems like you’ve been getting more unwanted calls on your Italian phone number recently, you’re probably not imagining things. But the good news is you’ll soon be able to do something about it.

EXPLAINED: How can you stop nuisance phone calls in Italy?

People in Italy are now getting an average of five nuisance calls (or telefonate moleste) per week from telemarketers, according to consumer rights association Codacons, which estimates that the frequency of such calls – mainly from banks, telecommunications and energy companies – is now about 20 percentage points higher than in pre-pandemic times.

This increase in cold calling in Italy comes ahead of the imminent introduction of a new ‘do not call’ list for mobile phone numbers, which spells trouble for telemarketers, reports newspaper Corriere della Sera.

READ ALSO: Beat the queues – 19 bits of Italian bureaucracy you can do online

In the European Union, data protection rules (under Regulation 2016/679) mean that you have the right not to be contacted, including by businesses. Based on this regulation, Italian courts can (and do) slap companies with large fines if they’re deemed to be using customers’ data unlawfully for telemarketing purposes. 

However, at the moment there’s not a great deal individuals can do about these annoying calls, beyond repeatedly opting out and making complaints.

But from this summer, rule changes in Italy will also mean both landline and mobile phone numbers, including any numbers that were not previously listed in the phone book, can be placed on an expanded version of the ‘do not call’ list known as the registro delle opposizioni or ‘register of objections’.

“From July 27th, the new public register will open to 78 million mobile telephone users,” Italian MP Simone Baldelli told Corriere della Sera.

Baldelli said the expanded register will become “a well-known and effective protection tool for phone users”.

EXPLAINED: How to change your registered address in Italy

It is already possible to use the registro delle opposizioni to remove Italian landline numbers from public telephone directories. Find out more about how to do that on the official website here.

As well as allowing people to register mobile phone numbers for the first time, the incoming rule changes in July will place stricter limits on the use of data by telemarketers.

“Enrollment in the new register will allow for the cancellation of any previous consents issued for telemarketing purposes, and will prohibit the transfer of personal data to third parties,” writes Corriere.

The new legislation is also set to include a ban on the use of automated or ‘robot’ marketing calls.

READ ALSO: Why the tabaccheria is essential to life in Italy – even if you don’t smoke

So how do you add your phone number to this new and improved register? 

From the information available so far, it appears that the process will be much the same as it is now for adding landlines to the existing register: you’ll be able to submit numbers to be added to the list either by phone, by completing a web form, or sending an email (either PEC or regular email).

But it’s not open just yet – it looks like you’ll have to wait until the end of July to add mobile numbers to the register.

We’ll report more details of the opt-out scheme on The Local once they’re published.

For now, readers of The Local have recommended the ‘Chi sta chiamando‘ (‘Who’s calling’) app, which you can find here for Apple or Android devices.

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