The extension, approved by the Chamber of Deputies’ Social Affairs Committee, is expected to be converted into law this week, reports the financial daily Il Sole 24 Ore.
The green pass will now be valid for a total of 12 months for vaccinated individuals, including those who have only received a single dose and those who have recovered from Covid – a three-month extension on its former nine-month lifespan.
Elena Carnevali, the Democratic Party member who signed off on the amendment, said it was “a very important step and a decision made on the basis of scientific evaluations of the Cts (Italy’s Technical Scientific Committee) that confirm the effectiveness of the extension of the green pass’s validity,” according to a report in the Italian news site Fanpage.
The committee also passed an amendment that approves the use of salivary Covid tests, in addition to molecular PCR and rapid antigen tests, for receiving the green pass.
The pass is valid for 48 hours for individuals who test negative for Covid through any of these means.
The digital pass 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; and since September 1st has also been a requirement for teachers and other school staff and for anyone wanting to take interregional public transport, while healthcare workers in Italy are legally required to be fully vaccinated.
The Italian interior ministry ordered police checks to be strengthened at train stations, ports and airports across the country from the night of August 31st after anti-vaccine protesters said they planned to disrupt the public transport network, Rai reports. However, no major disruptions materialised.
In August, Italy’s Deputy Health Minister Andrea Costa said the ‘green pass’ should be made compulsory for public sector employees and key workers, “for example local public transport operators, employees of supermarkets and essential services, or those that have been operational during lockdown.”
Such a measure is now expected to pass by the beginning of October, with the requirement extended to employees of bars, gyms, and restaurants, as well as all state employees, reports the Italian daily Corriere della Sera.