Italian Undersecretary of Health Andrea Costa has claimed that the government may let its state of emergency expire at the end of March, paving the way to the end of coronavirus restrictions and the country’s health passport system.
Undersecretary of Health Costa spoke to broadcaster RAI this week, stating that he expected the government could let the state of emergency expire on March 31st, which could lead to the relaxation of various Wuhan coronavirus restrictions and measures.
“We take into account that today we must complete the administration of the third doses to complete the vaccination campaign, proceeding at this pace it is absolutely reasonable to think that by March we could have completed the operation, opening a new scenario with progressive relaxation of restrictive measures, including Green Pass,” Costa said, newspaper Il Giornale reports.
Italians over the age of 50 who are unvaccinated could face fines and suspension from work as the country’s vaccine mandate come into force. https://t.co/wXrtcziEe1
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Minister of Tourism Massimo Garavaglia has also called for a review of the coronavirus measures, stating that if the occupation of hospital beds falls under a certain amount, the restrictions should be ended.
Populist Senator Matteo Salvini, leader of the League, has also called for the government to allow the state of emergency to expire on March 31st saying, “I hope that on March 31 all obligations will be overcome. We are among the most vaccinated, we cannot be the ones who have the most restrictions.”
Politicians are not the only ones to comment on ending restrictions and the Green Pass. Professor Matteo Bassetti, director of the Infectious Diseases Clinic of the San Martino Polyclinic in Genoa, stated this week that the Green Pass had done its job and extending it was not needed.
“It remains a political instrument and if the Government deems it appropriate to extend it beyond March 31 it will only be a political decision and not a health one. Do not say otherwise,” Bassetti said but said the passport system could be kept in select situations such as for those visiting elderly relatives in care homes.
While England prepares to soften lockdown, Italy goes the other way, once again extending vax pass rules https://t.co/QsAIEPmxld
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Other experts, such as Walter Ricciardi, advisor to Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza, have called for the Green Pass to be extended far longer, possibly until the end of the year.
Italy has maintained the Green Pass for several months, with the pass encompassing everything from indoor dining to public transit to getting a haircut. The pass is eligible to those fully vaccinated, those recovered from the coronavirus and those who provide a recent negative test, while the Super Green Pass excludes testing.
Italy is also one of the few European countries to mandate vaccines for all residents above a certain age, with all Italians over the age of 50 expected to be fully vaccinated or face fines between 600 (£499/$668) and 1,500 euros (£1,248/$1,671) as of Tuesday.