For members


Everything that changes in Italy in July 2021

Summer is well and truly here in Italy. As July begins the temperature is rising, EU travel is restarting, and utility bills are going up. Here’s a look at what changes this month.

Everything that changes in Italy in July 2021
Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP

Further easing of Covid-19 restrictions

Italy’s government has already relaxed most of the health measures which were in place throughout spring, with the whole country now in the low-restriction ‘white’ zone.

The last businesses to reopen are nightclubs, which can open their doors for the first time since August 2020 in early July with partygoers likely to need to show a health passport.

There won’t be a complete end to the restrictions in Italy just yet, though. 

Mask-wearing rules stay in place, including in crowded outdoor areas, and more rules could return if infection rates rise.

While all regions are now in the lowest-risk ‘white’ category, Italy remains under its four-tiered system of red, orange, yellow and white zones. This means that the government could quickly impose renewed restrictions if the number of infections rises again.

Photo: Marco Bertorello/AFP

EU health passport

Travelling within the European Union is set to become easier from July 1st, as the EU-wide health passport scheme begins

From this date, people who can show they are fully vaccinated, recovered or have recently tested negative for coronavirus can use a ‘green pass’ issued in their European country to travel anywhere within the EU or Schengen zone.

Italy is also allowing arrivals from the US, Canada and Japan under the terms of its version of the ‘green pass’ scheme.

Full details on how Italy’s version of the health passport works HERE.

Summer sales

The summer sales in Italy will begin on Saturday July 3rd in most regions, though some parts of the country are delaying them by several weeks in order to give shops a chance to sell products at full price following long closures due to lockdown.

The sales will last until late August or early September, depending on your region’s rules.

No more cashback

Millions of shoppers have used the Italian ‘cashback’ scheme to claim back part of the cost of card purchases this year, and it was supposed to continue running until June 2022. But the government has now decided to end the scheme early. 

You’ll no longer be able to claim cashback on card purchases made after June 30th 2021. Here are the details.

Photo: Francois Lo Presti/AFP

Sharp rise in gas and electricity prices 

Household bills will jump from this month, with the cost of electricity rising by 9.9% and gas by 15.3% from July 1st, Italy’s energy regulatory authority Arera has confirmed.

The price increases were initially set to be even higher, but the government stepped in to limit the increase amid concerns about how the sudden rise would impact inflation.

End to ban on laying off employees

Italy was the only EU country to bring in rules stopping companies from laying off workers during the Covid-19 crisis, and the Bank of Italy estimates that the measure helped save 440,000 jobs last year.

The freeze on firings introduced in February 2020 will now be selectively lifted from Thursday, July 1st, starting with large companies in sectors like construction and manufacturing.

New EU VAT rules for imported goods

Imported goods with a value of €22 or less used to be exempt from tax, but this condition will be scrapped on July 1st across the EU. 

This means all goods arriving into Italy and other European countries from non-EU countries will be subject to VAT, regardless of their value.

This EU-wide regulation will particularly affect businesses that import goods from outside of the bloc and people who shop online on international websites such as China’s AliExpress. 

If the goods cost more than €150 (not including transport, insurance and handling charges) you will also have to pay customs duty.

If businesses don’t register with the The Import One-Stop Shop (IOSS), the VAT will be paid by the customer when importing the goods into the EU. 

Postal or courier companies may charge the customer an additional clearance fee to collect this VAT and carry out the necessary procedures when importing the goods.

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For members


What changes about life in Italy in March 2022?

From the gradual easing of Covid restrictions to the clocks jumping forward an hour, here's what to expect in Italy in March.

What changes about life in Italy in March 2022?

International travel rules change

From March 1st, Italy will allow all fully-vaccinated or recently-recovered travellers from non-EU countries to enter the country without the additional need for a negative Covid test.

Any of a vaccination certificate, certificate of recovery or a negative test result will allow extra-EU arrivals entry into Italy without any quarantine requirement – so unvaccinated travellers and those not recovered from Covid-19 will be able to enter the country with just proof of a negative test.

EXPLAINED: How Italy’s travel rules change in March

Passengers can present certificates of recovery, vaccination or testing in digital or paper format.

All arrivals will still need to complete a digital passenger locator form (dPLF) – find the instructions and download link here.

See further details of the upcoming changes to the travel restrictions here.

International Women’s Day

March 8th is International Women’s Day (la Giornata internazionale dei diritti della donna or simply la Festa della Donna in Italian) and while it’s not any kind of official holiday in Italy, it’s still widely recognised in the form of small-scale celebrations or marches and demonstrations.

You can expect to see bunches of feathery yellow mimosa flowers pop up in florists’ stalls, as it’s traditional in Italy to give these to a woman on International Women’s Day. 

According to Italian Marie Claire, the flower was chosen by early 20th century activists Rita Montagnana and Teresa Mattei both because it can readily be found flowering in the countryside in March, and because despite its delicate appearance, it’s deceptively strong and resilient.

Hospital visits for relatives and food and drink returns to cinemas

Following a unanimous vote by the Italian parliament’s Social Affairs Commission, March 10th is the date on which it will once again become possible for family members to visit their relatives in hospital.

READ ALSO: TIMELINE: When will Italy ease its coronavirus restrictions?

Those who are fully vaccinated and boosted will reportedly be able to access health facilities to visit their relatives without any further requirements, while people who haven’t received a booster shot will need a negative test to enter.

From the same date, it will also be possible to eat and drink in Italy’s cinemas, theatres, concert halls and sports stadiums, Italian news media reports.

Italy’s government had banned the consumption of food and beverages in these venues last Christmas Eve in response to the rapid spread of the Omicron variant. 

Rome marathon

On March 27th, Rome will host its annual marathon once again.

Starting and ending by the Colosseum, the 26 mile course takes runners along the Tiber and past numerous historic sites including the ancient Roman Circo Massimo chariot race track, the Spanish Steps, Castel Sant’Angelo and St. Peter’s Basilica, to name a few.

That means if you’re planning on travelling around central Rome on this date, you should prepare for most of the roads to be cordoned off and for traffic to be significantly diverted.

The race starts at 8.30am, and the maximum completion time is six and a half hours. For those who aren’t fans of running, the event also welcomes power walkers, according to its official website.

The Rome marathon starts and ends at the Colosseum. Photo by Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP

The clocks go forward

March 27th is also the date Daylight Savings Time begins: the clocks jump forward at 2am, and everyone loses an hour of sleep.

While the EU voted in 2019 to scrap DST by 2021, a combination of Covid, Brexit, and an intra-EU stalemate (the EU Council and the EU Commission each insists the other needs to act first before anything can be done) has delayed putting a stop to the clock change, which means it will go ahead once again this March.

READ ALSO: Clocks go back in Italy despite EU deal on scrapping hour change

Italy, for one, is glad of the delays, having previously filed a formal request that the current system be kept in place.

That’s because in southern countries such as Italy or Spain daylight savings actually lengthens the days, helping people save on their energy bills – while in northern Europe the change doesn’t bring any such benefits.

Italy’s state of emergency ends

Italy’s current state of emergency or stato di emergenza, in place since January 31st, 2020, will end on March 31st, 2022, Prime Minister Mario Draghi announced at a business conference on February 23rd. 

The state of emergency is the condition which has allowed the Italian government to bring in emergency measures by decree over the past two years.

READ ALSO: Italy to end Covid state of emergency and cut ‘super green pass’, PM confirms

Bringing the state of emergency to an end doesn’t automatically mean that all current restrictions will be immediately dropped; however Draghi has already confirmed that after March 31st, some rules will be removed.

These include the abolition of Italy’s four-tiered colour coded system of Covid restrictions; the removal of outdoor mask mandates throughout Italy; and an end to the requirements for schoolchildren to wear high-grade FFP2 masks in the classroom or to quarantine if one of their classmates tests positive for the virus.