Italy Lifts COVID-19-Related State of Emergency, Phases Out Restrictions

© AFP 2023 / MIGUEL MEDINAPeople line up outside a pharmacy to be tested for Covid-19, near the Duomo cathedral in the centre of Milan on January 4, 2022.
People line up outside a pharmacy to be tested for Covid-19, near the Duomo cathedral in the centre of Milan on January 4, 2022. - Sputnik International, 1920, 01.04.2022
On January 31, 2020, Italy's government proclaimed a COVID-19 state of emergency for the first time. To date, 14.5 million cases have been recorded in the country, with 13.1 million recoveries and over 159,000 deaths.
Italy formally ended the COVID-19 pandemic state of emergency on Thursday, more than two years after it was declared and after many extensions, the country's media reported.
Between April 1 and December 31, 2022, the country can gradually phase down the remaining COVID-19 measures. According to the new rules, the four-tier system based on a color code (white, yellow, orange, and red zones for no, low, medium, and high pandemic risk, respectively) would no longer apply as of Friday.
This reportedly indicates that the remaining actions will be implemented nationwide, regardless of the epidemiological situation in any given locality or region.
The now-defunct emergency legislation, which has been renewed multiple times, has given authorities broad power to deal with the pandemic, allowing them to cut through red tape to establish, alter, or rescind emergency measures.
According to Wanted in Rome, General Francesco Paolo Figliuolo, who has served as Italy's emergency coronavirus commissioner for the past year, was also set to leave his post on Thursday. Figliuolo, a logistics expert, was in charge of the country's successful vaccination campaign, which saw over 90% of Italians aged 12 and up complete the immunization cycle.
After March 31, the government's coronavirus advisory framework, including the technical scientific committee (CTS), will be discontinued. Beginning on April 1, Italy's COVID-19 restrictions, including the Green Pass, will be gradually phased out once the state of emergency is lifted.
Earlier, the Italian authorities noted that further regulation changes will be "examined" during April in preparation for May 1, when the mask mandate and the so-called green pass system (which shows proof of vaccination or recent recovery from COVID-19 and is needed to access many places) are scheduled to be phased away entirely.
Another significant change is that anyone aged 50 and up who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 will be able to return to work after submitting a negative test result. The so-called "super" green pass (which simply requires confirmation of immunization or recuperation) will, however, be required for health care professionals, including those in nursing homes, until December 31 of this year.
Local public transportation users will no longer be required to display a green pass beginning Friday, but will be required to wear face masks on board until April 30.
Furthermore, the new measures imply that the mandate to wear a mask outdoors, as well as the requirement to wear an FFP2 filtering face mask in classrooms, will be eliminated across Italy.
Prime Minister Mario Draghi originally announced the March 31 deadline in February.
Because of the state of emergency, Giuseppe Conte, Italy's former prime minister, was able to impose the first statewide lockdown in the Western world in early March 2020, just days after northern Italy became the epicenter of Europe's first known novel coronavirus outbreak.
The state of emergency has been renewed several times since then, but it is now coming to an end as cases in Italy and other parts of Europe rise again.
To participate in the discussion
log in or register
Заголовок открываемого материала