The new vaccine passport will take effect starting Dec. 6. People must prove that they are vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, to enter indoor restaurants, cinemas and theatres, sporting venues, gyms, night clubs, and more.
Current “Green Pass” regulations in the country allow for negative test results within 48 hours to access such venues. But from Dec. 6 to Jan. 15, a negative test will no longer suffice for the leisure activities.
The restrictions could extend beyond Jan. 15 in regions with rising CCP virus cases or related hospital admissions.
The government has also decided to make the existing Green Pass mandatory for use of urban public transport. It has acknowledged that this will be challenging to enforce, given the crowded rush-hour conditions of Italy‘s buses and metros. For access to public transport, the Green Pass will be available to those with a negative test, not just the vaccinated, the government said.
Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi said the new measures are necessary to curb the “slow but steady” rise in CCP virus cases across the country.
“We are seeing the situation in bordering countries is very serious and we also see that the situation in Italy is gradually but constantly getting worse,” Draghi told reporters after the cabinet unanimously approved the new restrictions.
“We want to be very prudent to try to safeguard what Italians have achieved in the last year,” he said, alluding to the heavy lockdown in the country in 2020.
“We’ve begun to return to normality. We want to conserve this normality,” he added.
Reuters contributed to this report.