Italy maps easing plans, bets on vaccine passport

Photo: EPA Mario Draghi

The Italian government presented a roadmap on Wednesday outlining the gradual lifting of virus-related restrictions, in a process stretching until the summer, news wires reported. Rome also plans to introduce a coronavirus pass in the near future for travel within the country.

Known as a "green passport," it will allow people who have been fully vaccinated to travel to areas where there is an increased risk of infection, for example, the government said after a cabinet meeting. The national pass to allow travel to high-risk zones, classified as red or orange, is an innovation. The document is to include details such as negative tests for the virus within the past 48 hours, or a case of Covid-19 within the past six months.

Italy is also re-introducing white and yellow zones to describe areas with low or moderate levels of infection, in the government's new coronavirus decree. In zones classified as yellow, restaurants and bars will be able to serve diners seated in outdoor areas at lunchtime and in the evening, as of 26 April. Indoor areas, however, are to remain closed. Theatres, cinemas and concert halls will also be allowed to open, also attendance is to be limited. Swimming pools in yellow zones will also be allowed to open, starting on 15 May.

Meanwhile major sporting events are also to be allowed as of 1 June, though they are to be limited to outdoors events with a maximum of 1,000 spectators. Gyms will also be able to reopen in early June. Conventions will be able to be held again and entertainment parks may reopen as of 1 July. The night curfew however is to remain in place between the hours of 10 pm and 5 am. There has recently been significant opposition to the measure from restaurant owners, for example.

The EU is also planning a "green passport" for international travel, and these papers are to be recognised in Italy, the government said. Case numbers in Italy have been improving in recent weeks. Authorities registered nearly 14,000 new infections and 364 deaths in 24 hours on Wednesday in the country of 60 million people.

More on this subject: Coronavirus

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