A “green” certificate allowing to move freely around the country and do as many activities as possible, including taking part in concerts, attending weddings and going to clubs. It’s the “green pass” that Italy has implemented to facilitate people’s movement and the reopening of activities, a kind of immunity certificate meant to contain the spread of coronavirus and ensure a smooth development of the summer season.
The idea, which was initially launched at the European level, has been sped up by the Italian government and included in the latest reopenings decree at the end of April. Specifically, the pass is granted to those who meet one of these conditions: either having been vaccinated, having recovered from Covid-19, or having a negative PCR test result at least 48 hours before traveling.
Specifically, the pass will allow to freely get in and out orange and red zones in the country, as well as to visit elderly people in care homes, and also to attend weddings and other ceremonies – these latter ones starting from June 15th. The pass will also be made available for foreigners traveling to Italy, while the EU is waiting to launch a similar, Union-wide measure at the end of June.
For the moment, the old rules are still going to be in place: people coming to Italy from outside the European Union will still need to have a negative Covid test and do a 10-day quarantine, while those coming from the EU and the Schengen area, Great Britain and Israel, will only need a negative PCR test result. For Italians going abroad, different rules are still going to be in place in different countries, with a negative Covid test generally being required everywhere.
The pass, which is meant to last between 6 and 9 months (the average duration of the vaccine coverage), is going to be given out by the health institution where the person has received the vaccination jab, or by the hospital or general doctor for those who have recovered from the virus. The specific duration of the pass is going to vary according to the vaccine type: almost one year for those vaccinated with AstraZeneca, 9 months with Johnson&Johnson, and a similar duration with Pfizer and Moderna. While certain regions, like Rome’s Lazio, have already implemented digital certificates through the Italian digital identity system Spid, some technical procedures still need to be adjusted to allow for the certificates to be adopted all over the country; hence, the measure cannot be considered fully operational yet.
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In the meantime, at the European level governments are working to put together a system which will allow a similar EU Covid-19 certificate to be accessible through a QR code. This will simply need to be displayed alongside an identity card in order to be admitted in any EU country, although each individual member state will need to establish whether they will require more measures, such as a PCR test or a quarantine period, to allow people to move freely.
Finally, regarding the pass some privacy concerns have been raised – Italy’s Data Protection Authority complained it was not involved in the decision-making process. “It is unnecessary to indicate the number of vaccine jabs one has received or even the vaccine type, and also to envisage different certificates based on the specific condition (vaccination, recovery, or negative test result) by which they are granted,” president Pasquale Stanzione said. According to media reports, the ministry of Health is currently at work to solve the controversies, but it is foreseen that the European pass will set the final standard in all countries.
In Italy, coronavirus rates have been improving steadily over the past weeks, with a contagion rate currently remaining at 1.9 points. According to recent statistics, about 22 million Italians plan to remain in Italy for the summer holidays, and 4.5 million of them have already made their bookings. The periods that are registering the highest number of bookings are July and August, and it is foreseen that most travelers (63,8%) will move out of their own region and to a different one. In order to reach their holiday destinations, Italians are planning to move mostly by car (74,7%), plane (17%) and maritime transport (1.5 million people).