Italy bars unvaccinated people from cinemas and restaurants
Italy is to bar unvaccinated people from popular social and sports activities, as governments across Europe scramble to tighten Covid-19 restrictions amid record-breaking numbers of infections in parts of the continent.
The Italian “super green pass” will take effect from 6 December and require people to prove they are vaccinated or have recovered from Covid in order to access cinemas, theatres, gyms, nightclubs, ski lifts and stadiums, as well as to be served indoors at bars and restaurants.
Current rules in many EU countries with health passes allow people who provide proof of a negative test taken within the previous 48 hours to use recreational venues, a regime that has become known as 3G, but the Italian “super green pass” removes that third option.
The Netherlands and France are among those thought likely to also adopt a stricter “2G regime” within days. 3G refers to the German words geimpft (vaccinated), getestet (tested) and genesen (recovered); 2G is vaccinated or recovered.
Italy’s prime minister, Mario Draghi, has been under pressure from regional governors to impose a stricter health mandate against people who have not been vaccinated. He said it was essential to mitigate the risk of infections surging and preserve normality.
In a surprise move, people will also have to show proof of vaccination, recovery or a negative test when using public transport. The measure is already in place on long-distance trains and domestic flights. The government has extended the obligatory vaccine requirement in place for health workers to the police, military and teachers.
Draghi said that while the situation in Italy was currently under control, “outside Italy, the situation is very serious, while ours is steadily worsening”. Italy registered 12,448 new infections yesterday, up from 10,047 on Tuesday, and 85 deaths.
In the Netherlands, the health minister, Hugo de Jonge, spoke of a “gloomy and worrying” rise in cases, and said tough measures could be announced within days, despite four nights of rioting over a partial lockdown imposed last week.
France will announce new Covid containment measures today, a government spokesperson said.
The Netherlands, Slovakla, the Czech Republic and Hungary all reported record daily infections yesterday as colder weather pushed people to gather indoors rather than on cafe terraces, providing a perfect breeding ground for the virus.
Italy introduced its green pass in August and made it mandatory for workplaces in October – a move that intensified protests, especially in the northern city of Trieste, where there has been a sharp rise in infections and hospital admissions.
The tougher rules have been supported by regional presidents from across the political spectrum. Stefano Bonaccini, the centre-left Democratic party president of Emilia-Romagna, told Ansa: “I think people who are vaccinated should have a preferential path in those places of social and cultural life, in particular, to prevent them having to close.”