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COVID-19 RULES

Italy tightens Covid green pass requirements for hairdressers and shops

As the requirement to show a Covid-19 heath certificate at hairdressers, barbers and beauty salons comes into effect on Thursday, the Italian government is planning to extend the rule to other businesses.

Proof of testing, vaccination or recovery from Covid-19 is now required to visit the hairdressers in Italy.
Proof of testing, vaccination or recovery from Covid-19 is now required to visit the hairdressers in Italy. Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP

From February 20th until at least March 31st, Italy’s green pass (the ‘basic’ version, which is also accessible via a negative test result) is a requirement for entry to businesses in the “personal services” category: namely hairdressers, barbers, and beauty salons.

This change was announced under Italy’s last government decree, published on January 7th, but is only coming into force now as the introduction of many new rules has been staggered.

Calendar: When do Italy’s Covid-19 rules change?

The same requirement will apply to public offices, banks and post offices from February 1st, the last decree states.

As these rules come in, the government is also set to announce more changes on Thursday – including an extension of the basic green pass requirement to all but the most essential businesses, shops and services.

Ministers are reportedly still finalising details of the latest round of changes to the nationwide health measures under another incoming decree awaited on Thursday, following days of discussion with regional authorities and scientific advisors.

Food shops will be exempt from Italy’s pass requirement. Photo: Miguel MEDINA / AFP

According to reports in Italian media, the list of exempt ‘essential’ businesses is expected to include pharmacies, supermarkets, grocery stores, opticians and tobacconists.

Open-air shops and services such as petrol stations, markets, newsstands and kiosks are also likely to be exempt, according to reports.

These new rules have not yet been officially announced and no start date has been confirmed at the time of writing.

Many other businesses and services in Italy already require the ‘reinforced’ version of the green pass, proving vaccination or recovery, including bars, hotels and all forms of public transport.

Italy currently has a two-tiered green pass system in place, with the ‘basic’ version of the pass available to those who test negative, alongside the ‘reinforced’ or ‘super’ green pass which proves the bearer is vaccinated against or has recovered from Covid-19.

The green pass takes the form of a QR code that can be scanned and checked by public sector and service industry workers.

The responsibility for enforcing the rules at shops and businesses falls to owners or managers, who can face fines of up to 1,000 euros for failing to ensure customers have a valid green pass.

READ ALSO: At a glance: What Covid-19 rules are now in place in Italy?

The new rules are expected to apply nationwide, regardless of the zone a region is in under Italy’s four-tiered system of risk classifications.

Under the incoming decree, the Italian government is also “reconsidering” the system of white, yellow, orange and red ‘zones’, which has been in place since November 2020.

It’s not yet known whether the tiered system will be altered or scrapped altogether, as the government’s strategy for dealing with the pandemic relies increasingly on vaccinations rather than business closures and lockdown measures.

For the moment, the coloured tier system remains in place with most of the country designated a ‘yellow’ zone as of Monday.

For further details about Italy’s current Covid-19 health measures please see the Italian health ministry’s website (available in English).

COVID-19 RULES

Masks to remain mandatory on Italian flights after May 16th

It will still be obligatory for passengers to wear masks on flights to Italy until mid-June, despite the end of the EU-wide requirement on Monday, May 16th, the Italian government has confirmed.

Masks to remain mandatory on Italian flights after May 16th

The Italian government reiterated on Friday that its current mask-wearing rules remain in place until June 15th, reports newspaper Corriere della Sera.

This means the mask mandate will still apply to all air passengers travelling to or from Italy, despite the end of an EU-wide requirement to wear masks on flights and at airports across the bloc from Monday.

READ ALSO: Reader question: What type of mask will I need for travel to Italy?

National regulations take precedence, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) confirmed when announcing the end of the EU rules.

“Wearing face masks at airports and inflight should be aligned with national measures on wearing masks in public transport and transport hubs,” they said in a joint statement published on May 11th.

READ ALSO: Why are so many Italians still wearing face masks in shops?

“If either the departure or destination States require the wearing of face masks on public transport, aircraft operators should require passengers and crew to comply with those requirements inflight, beyond 16 May 2022.

“Further, as of 16 May 2022, aircraft operators, during their pre-flight communications as well as during the flight, should continue to encourage their passengers and crew members to wear face masks during the flight as well as in the airport, even when wearing a face mask is not required”.

The Spanish government also said on Thursday that air passengers would have to continue wearing face masks on planes.

Italy’s current rules specify that higher-grade FFP2 masks should be worn on all forms of public transport, including buses, trams, regional and high-speed trains, ferries, and planes.

Though rules were eased in some settings from May 1st, masks also remain a requirement until June 15th at Italy’s cinemas and theatres, hospitals and care homes, indoor sporting event and concert venues, schools and universities.

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