Italy Removes State of Emergency, Starts Easing COVID-19 Restrictions

Italy decided to end its state of emergency and ease some of its COVID-19 restrictions, two years since its establishment. 

Italian Premier Mario Draghi told reporters in a press conference on Thursday that the declaration will cease by the end of this month and there will be no extension. 

Draghi’s announcement came following a Council of Ministers meeting and the signing of the so-called decreto riapertura, or ‘reopening decree’ on Thursday. 

According to reports from The Local, Draghi confirmed that the decree was approved but no further details were given except that it contained the timeline for easing the country’s Covid restrictions. 

Among the highlights of the decree include the gradual easing of Italy’s health measures beginning April and mid-June. 

With this declaration comes the gradual phasing out of the ‘green pass’ or the EU digital COVID certificate which was earlier made public last month. 

No final document was presented to reporters during the press conference on Thursday evening but a copy of the draft, which circulated, indicated that this pass is expected to end on May 1st and the indoor mask mandate will end by April 30. 

“It is important to remember that last year, with green pass requirements in place, the Italian economy grew by 6.5%; we managed to achieve a vibrant economy and a gradual return to socializing while being better protected and safer,” Draghi said in his opening statement. 

In a tweet, Health Minister Roberto Speranza described what they built as a gradual path for the next few weeks as they look forward to “a new phase with confidence”. 

Speranza was further quoted by The Local that the country’s four-colored ‘zone’ system of restrictions will no longer be used. 

Employees above the age of 50 who have not been vaccinated will no longer be suspended from work without pay. They only need to get a basic green pass until April 30th.

Healthcare employees, on the other hand, will be subject to the vaccine requirement until December 31.

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