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WHAT CHANGES IN ITALY

What changes about life in Italy in April 2022

From energy bills to the Covid green pass, here's a look at the changes to expect in Italy as we move into April.

What changes about life in Italy in April 2022
The Torre dell'Orologio in St Mark's Square, Venice. Photo by James Lee on Unsplash

End of Italy’s state of emergency

Italy’s pandemic state of emergency officially ended on March 31st, two years and two months after it was first declared.

The end of the state of emergency itself doesn’t mean the end of restrictions, and is largely symbolic. But the government has signed off on a roadmap to ending Covid health measures, meaning some restrictions are gradually being relaxed or removed starting from Friday, April 1st.

(Some) green pass rules will be relaxed

Italy is not doing away with its much-contested ‘green pass’ health certificate just yet, but it is no longer required at certain venues as of April 1st.

Many venues and businesses will now only be required to ask customers to show a proof of a negative Covid test result, in the form of a ‘basic’ green pass, rather than for proof of vaccination or recovery (via the reinforced or ‘super’ green pass).

Green pass rules in Italy are relaxed as of April 1st. Photo: Andreas SOLARO / AFP

The basic pass is now sufficient for accessing long-distance public transport services and for entry to indoor bars and restaurants, while you’ll no longer need any form of health pass at all to sit at outdoor tables.

READ ALSO: How to get a coronavirus test in Italy

The requirement has also been scrapped at hotels, museums, shops and local offices, including bank branches and post offices; and as of April 1st, no pass is required to access local public transport, such as city buses and trams.

See more details about the changes to the green pass system and Italy’s other health measures here.

Further easing of Covid travel restrictions? 

Italy’s entry requirements were eased at the beginning of March, meaning a vaccination certificate, recovery certificate or negative test result is now sufficient for entry to Italy.

These rules were recently extended and will remain in place until at least April 30th.

TIMELINE: Where and when will Italy relax its Covid rules?

For now, there is no discussion about completely scrapping Covid restrictions for arrivals – as some other countries have done recently – but there may still be some changes on the way.

We’ll publish any updates in our Italian travel news section.

Energy bills to rise?

April is the start of a new quarter and in Italy that means energy tariffs are revised. And recently, they’ve only been revised upwards – sharply.

In fact, we’ve seen electricity and gas prices rise for the past six consecutive quarters, reaching unprecedented highs after the latest rise in January.

Prices were widely predicted to rise once again in April, with Nomisma Energia expecting an increase of 25 percent for electricity and 2 percent for natural gas.

However, recent reports have cast doubt on this; newspaper La Repubblica reported this week that the tariffs could, in fact, be revised slightly downwards; and according to an article published by Sky News on Wednesday, Italian energy regulator Arera is now saying we can expect to see both electricity and gas prices drop by around 10% percent.

READ ALSO: Rising energy prices: How to save money on your bills in Italy

If there is such a reduction in prices, however, it still won’t be enough to compensate for January’s huge increase (of 55 percent for electricity and 40 percent for gas).

Italy has seen steep energy bill rises for months. Photo by Anthony Indraus on Unsplash

One piece of good news is that Italy will offer new discounts on household energy bills from April under an updated scheme announced last week.

The funding is primarily for households on the lowest incomes, but the income level has been raised under the latest update from April.

More families can now claim the discount on utility bills, as it is now available to those with an ISEE of up to to €12,000. Find out more here.

Fuel discount ends

Following soaring fuel prices in March due to the war in Ukraine, the Italian government introduced a temporary reduction in fuel prices for motorists to bring the cost back down to below €2 per litre.

The fuel price cut equates to 25 cents plus VAT at 22.5 percent, making it a total of 30.5 cents discount to the consumer.

READ ALSO: How to save money on your fuel in Italy

The reduction is applied to the excise duty (a tax on the production and consumption of goods) on petrol and diesel.

Reactions to the move haven’t been warmly welcomed, not least because the measure, for now at least, only lasts 30 days – meaning that the discount will cease to apply after April 21st.

The government may extend the measure beyond this date, but has so far not confirmed any further fuel discounts or price caps.

Easter holidays

Time off for the Easter break falls in the middle of April, with Good Friday (Venerdì Santo) on April 15th and Easter Sunday (Pasqua) on April 17th.

You don’t get Good Friday off work as it’s not a national holiday, but you do get to take off two public holidays on Easter Sunday and Easter Monday (known as Pasquetta, or ‘little Easter’), which falls on April 18th this year.

READ ALSO: The Italian holiday calendar for 2022

Pupils – and teachers – get a break over Easter week and this year’s public school holiday is from Thursday, April 14th to Tuesday, April 19th in all regions of Italy, though private schools may have different dates.

‘April fish’

Italy doesn’t do April Fool’s: instead it does April fish.

The country’s traditional April 1st prank involves drawing a picture of a pesciolino – a ‘little fish’ – and sticking it on an unsuspecting victim’s back. Find out about the tradition here.

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For members

WHAT CHANGES IN ITALY

What changes about life in Italy in June 2022

From relaxed travel rules to school holiday dates, here's what's in store for people in Italy this June.

What changes about life in Italy in June 2022

Italy to scrap all Covid travel rules from June 1st

Travel to Italy will now be restriction-free for the first time since March 2020.

Italy’s health ministry has confirmed that the remaining travel requirements will be scrapped as of June 1st.

The ordinance requiring travellers to show proof of coronavirus vaccination, recent recovery or a negative test result in order to enter Italy “will not be extended” when it expires on May 31st, the ministry said on Monday.

This is the last remaining Covid-related rule in place for travellers to Italy, after the requirement for arrivals to complete an EU digital passenger locator form (dPLF) was lifted on May 1st.

The end of Italy’s mask mandate?

Italy also plans to ease the remaining masking rules further from June 15th: from this date, the will no longer be required in cinemas, theatres, concert halls and indoor sports arenas – health situation permitting.

Italy’s health ministry is still debating whether or not to lift the mask mandate on public transport, and is expected decide shortly before June 15th based on the latest Covid data. For now, high-grade FFP2 masks are required on all public transport in Italy.

Surgical masks will continue to be needed on health and social care settings, and will likely be required in schools for everyone over the age of six until the end of the school year, including in exam settings.

READ ALSO: Will Italy scrap the last Covid restrictions on June 15th?

Bear in mind, though, that these are just national rules – local governments and individual organisations and businesses can still impose their own tighter restrictions.

Public holiday – and a long weekend for some

June 2nd is Italy’s Republic Day or Festa della Repubblica, a national holiday on which the country celebrates its foundation as a republic.

On this date in 1946, Italians voted in a referendum to abolish its monarchy, which had fallen out of favour due to its close alignment with Mussolini’s fascist regime.

This year’s Republic Day falls on a Thursday, which means many people in Italy will likely be taking the Friday off as well for a four-day ponte or ‘bridge’ long weekend break.

READ ALSO: Five things you should know about Italy’s Republic Day

People jump from rocks in Manarola, Cinque Terre. Photo by MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP.

Referendum on justice system reform

On Sunday, June 12th, Italian citizens will go to the polls to vote in an important referendum on five proposed reforms to the country’s much-criticised justice system.

These include changes to rules around pre-trial detention, as well as the question of whether judges and prosecutors should be allowed to switch back and forth between the two roles during their career (as is currently the case).

Perhaps the most significant, however, is the proposal to repeal the Severino Law, which bars people who have received at least a two-year prison sentence from holding political office for six years. 

The reforms are part of a wider programme of changes to Italy’s tortuous judicial system. This is required by the European Commission to unlock billions of euros in the form of post-pandemic recovery funds.

The start of tax season

We’re sure you’ll be thrilled to hear that this month brings the first Italian tax deadlines of the year. Tax season begins with the IMU property tax deadline on June 16th for those who own a second home in the country.

Summer holidays begin

Italy’s schools all start their summer break in June, with kids on holiday until September.

The dates for the end of the school year vary by region, starting on June 4th (Emilia Romagna, Marche), and then June 8th (Abruzzo, Basilicata, Campania, Lazio, Lombardy, Molise, Piedmont, Sardinia, Val d’Aosta, Veneto), June 9th (Calabria, Puglia, Umbria), June 10th (Liguria, Sicily, the autonomous province of Trento, Tuscany), June 11th (Friuli Venezia Giulia), and June 16th (the autonomous province of Bolzano).

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