Italy marks over 105 million Covid ‘green pass’ downloads

More than 105 million green passes have been downloaded according to the latest government figures, showing citizens are "aware of its importance", according to a government health official.

Visitors to cultural sites pose with their green passes in Rome.
Visitors to cultural sites pose with their green passes in Rome. Andreas SOLARO / AFP

Italy recorded a total of 105,569,806 ‘green pass’ downloads on Saturday, according to the latest data on the government’s certificazione verde Covid-19 portal.

The number marks an increase of over 878,000 green passes compared to the day before.

These figures mean “that citizens have become aware of the importance of this tool to continue on this path,” deputy Health Secretary Andrea Costa told RaiNews24.

“The silent majority of our country has prevailed, which, while politics debated the usefulness of the ‘green pass’, in the meantime [the population] has adhered to it,” he added.

Following the expanded green pass rules on October 15th, the number of green pass downloads hit a new record on Monday, with over one million ‘green passes’ downloaded in just one day.

READ ALSO: How Italy is enforcing the new workplace green pass rules

Italy has completed its first working week under the newly extended health certificate rules, following a decree to make the health certificate mandatory by law for all workers in Italy to show a green pass to access any workplace – with steep fines in place for those not complying.

A ‘green pass’ is needed in all areas of work in Italy. (Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP)

Green passes are available to everyone who is vaccinated or recently recovered from Covid-19, but can also be obtained by getting a negative test, at the person’s own expense.

READ ALSO: Surge in sick days after Italy brings in workplace Covid green pass rule

While Italy’s latest health pass requirement has prompted an increase in vaccinations, the download figures show the vast majority continue to take a Covid test instead.

Friday’s figures reveal that out of a total of almost 878,000 downloaded ‘green passes’, over 661,000 were granted following taking a swab test (tampone), while some 213,000 green passes were downloaded following vaccination.

Only just under 4,000 health certificates were generated as a result of proof of having recovered from Covid-19.

Those who refuse to be vaccinated will mostly only be able to attend work if they pay for their own tests either every 48 or 72 hours, depending on the type.

Those vaccinated are covered for 12 months after completion of the vaccination cycle, or if it’s their first shot, their green pass is valid until they get their second dose.

The pass requirement has already been in place for school and university employees and care home workers since September, and a vaccine mandate has been in place since April for anyone working in healthcare, including in pharmacies and doctors’ offices.

People gather during a protest against the green pass in Milan on October 16, 2021.

People gathered during a protest against the green pass across Italy when it was extended even further. Piero CRUCIATTI / AFP

Covid cases are increasing among healthcare workers

Meanwhile, the number of Covid-19 cases among health workers is rising. This week 371 cases have been recorded compared to 306 in the previous week, making up 3.6% of the total number of cases in the population, according to the latest extended surveillance report by the Higher Health Institute (ISS).


In total,144,812 cases of Covid-19 have been registered among healthcare workers, of which 1,444 in the last 30 days.

Analysing the trend in diagnosed cases among healthcare workers, the report stated, “In early July there was a slight increase in correspondence with the increase in the number of cases in the rest of the population.

“Since the second half of August, the number of cases diagnosed in the population has been falling sharply, while the number of weekly cases notified among healthcare workers has been increasing.”

The efficacy of anti-Covid vaccines “remains high” against the Alpha and Delta variants of the SarsCoV2 virus, although there is a slight drop in efficacy against Delta, according to the report.

The vaccine efficacy in preventing “any symptomatic or asymptomatic diagnosis of Covid-19 in fully vaccinated persons” decreased from 89% when the Alpha variant was prevalent to 79% during the Delta-variant epidemic phase.

Vaccination effectiveness in preventing diagnosis with subsequent hospitalisation “remains high”, however, at 92% (versus 95% in the Alpha phase).

In intensive care the efficacy stands at 95% for Delta phase vs 97% of Alpha phase and deaths are now 91% vs 97% in the Alpha phase.

The incidence rate over the period October 4th – 17th October shows a decrease throughout all of Italy’s regions, except for Valle d’Aosta.

Almost 82% of the Italian population over 12 years old have been vaccinated as of Saturday, according to the latest government figures.

Just under 46.5 million people in Italy have now received at least one dose.

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Germany’s weekly Covid infection rate rises above 500

Germany recorded a weekly Covid incidence of more than 500 per 100,000 people on Monday as health experts warn that the fifth wave of the pandemic has only just begun.

Bar in Berlin's Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg district, which has the highest incidence in the country.
People sit outside bars in the Berlin district of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, where incidences are currently the highest in the country. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Christophe Gateau

On Monday, the 7-day incidence of Covid infections per 100,000 people stood at 528, up from 515 the day before and 376 a week ago. 

Infections have been rising rapidly as the highly transmissible Omicron variant tightens its hold in Germany. Monday marked the fourth day in a row in which the country posted record incidences.

Since the first incidence of the variant was discovered in the country around seven weeks ago, Omicron has swiftly taken over as the dominant variant in Germany.

It currently accounts for around 73 percent of Covid infections and is expected to almost entirely replace the Delta variant this week. 

Though Omicron generally causes a less severe illness than Delta, experts are concerned that deaths and hospitalisations could remain high due to the unprecedented number of cases Germany could see.

Unlike Delta, Omicron has a large number of mutations that allow it to evade previously built up immunity through vaccinations and illness. 

The World Health Organisation has warned that half of all Europeans could be infected with the virus by spring. 

“After the temporary decline in case numbers, severe disease courses and deaths towards the end of 2021 in the fourth wave, the fifth wave of the Covid-19 pandemic has begun in Germany with the dominant circulation of the omicron variant,” the Robert Koch Institute wrote in its weekly report on Thursday.  

Since the first Omicron case was discovered in Germany, there have been 191,422 suspected or proven cases of the variant.

As Welt data journalist Olaf Gersemann pointed out in Twitter, the number of Omicron cases has increased sixfold within a fortnight. 

Increase in hospitalisations

Before this weekend, Germany had hit its previous peak of infections back in November, when the country posted a 7-day incidence of 485 per 100,000 people at during the peak of the fourth wave.

Since then, Covid measures such contact restrictions and blanket 2G (entry only for the vaccinated and recovered) or 2G-plus (vaccinated or recovered with a negative test) have been relatively effective at turning the tide. 


For the past few weeks however, infections have been on the up once again as the Omicron fifth wave begins.

The incidence of hospitalisations in the country appears to also be on the rise again after a few weeks of decline. On Friday, the 7-day incidence of hospitalisations stood at 3.24 per 100,000 people, up from 3.13 the day before.

Over the weekend, Health Minister Karl Lauterbach warned that Omicron could place additional pressure on the general hospital wards as fewer people end up in intensive care. 

“Depending on how things develop, we may face shortages not only in the intensive care units, but also in the normal wards. There is a threat of entire departments being closed,” he said.

“Rapid spread of the virus would mean hundreds of thousands will become seriously ill and we will have to mourn many thousands of deaths again.” 

Karl Lauterbach

Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) speaks at a weekly press conference on Friday, January 14th. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Kay Nietfeld

Northern states post record incidences

Since the start of the Omicron wave, northern Germany has been disproportionately affected by the virus.

As of Monday, the city-state of Bremen had the highest incidence in the country, with 1389 new cases per 100,000 people recorded in a week.

This was followed by Berlin, which currently has a 7-day incidence of 948, and Hamburg, which recorded a 7-day incidence of 806. The district with the highest incidence in Berlin Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, which posted a weekly incidence of 1597 on Monday. 

In contrast to the fourth wave, the lowest Covid incidences were recorded in the eastern states of Thuringia, Saxony-Anhalt and Saxony. 

On Monday, Thuringia had a weekly incidence of 198 per 100,000 people, while Saxony’s incidence was 249 and Saxony-Anhalt’s was 280.

Somewhat inexplicably, the incidence has been declining in Thuringia in recent weeks, though there is speculation that this could be to do with the fact that Omicron has not yet spread in the state.

Nine of the sixteen German states have incidences of more than 500 per 100,000 people.