For members


What changes about life in Italy in September 2021?

From the expanded ‘green pass’ requirements to the return to school, here are the changes September 2021 will bring to Italy.

What changes about life in Italy in September 2021?
People enjoy the view from San Giorgio island in front of Venice's historical center. Ludovic MARIN / AFP

The long, hot Italian summer is now coming to an end and the rientro is imminent. As the country gets moving again in September, there are plenty of changes in store.

Some are confirmed, others still speculative, but each of the following may have an impact on your life in Italy soon. 

Here’s what to be aware of in the coming weeks.

Covid ‘green pass’ expansion

Proof of vaccination, testing or recovery via the certificazione verde or ‘green pass’ scheme has been required since August 6th in order to enter many cultural and leisure venues across Italy, including museums, theatres, gyms, and indoor seating in restaurants.

From September 1st the health pass will also become a requirement for teachers and other school staff, as well as on long-distance public transport including interregional trains and domestic flights.

Q&A: Your questions answered about Italy’s Covid health pass

For schools, this is a key part of the government’s strategy to ensure that pupils can learn in person, after constantly changing Covid restrictions kept them in and out of classrooms for much of the past 18 months – though some details remain to be finalised, such as who’ll be checking all those certificates every day.

The government is also considering a further expansion which would make the pass mandatory for employees at workplaces deemed essential, including public offices and supermarkets.

Photo: Andreas SOLARO / AFP

Some Italian regions risk new Covid restrictions

As of August 30th, Sicily became the first Italian region to be placed under yellow zone restrictions once more as new weekly cases and Covid hospitalisation rates rose.

Until then, all of Italy’s regions had been classified as a low-restriction ‘white zone’ since the end of June.

More regions are thought to be at risk of having restrictions re-imposed in the coming weeks. Calabria, and Sardinia are currently thought to be at the highest risk of moving into the yellow zone.

Yellow zone restrictions require that masks are worn in all public spaces, including outdoors, and that restaurants may only seat a maximum of four people per table (unless the group is co-habiting) though indoor dining is allowed, according to the Health Ministry.

However there is no evening curfew, and travel between Sicily and other Italian regions is not restricted.

‘Decisive’ month for vaccination campaign

The number of Covid-19 vaccines administered in Italy throughout August was up to 60% lower than in July. But despite the summer slowdown, authorities remain confident about meeting the goal of vaccinating 80 percent of the eligible population by September 30th.

Health ministry officials said this week that September “will be decisive” for the vaccination campaign, as the numbers of vaccinations and appointment bookings in the coming weeks should give a clearer understanding of how many people in Italy are refusing the vaccine.

Vaccination coverage by the end of the month will inform the health ministry’s decisions on whether and how to enforce new health measures if the infection rate continues to rise.

Photo: Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP

Schools return with mask requirements and distancing measures

The start of the school year will be staggered across Italy’s regions, with schools in South Tyrol the first to reopen on September 6th, followed by re-openings in Abruzzo, Basilicata, Emilia Romagna, Lazio, Lombardy, Piedmont, Trentino, Umbria, Valle d’Aosta and (elementary and middle school only) Veneto on September 13th; Sardinia on September 14th; Campania Liguria, Marche, Molise and Tuscany on September 15th; Friuli Venezia Giulia, Sicily and (high school only) Veneto on September 16th; and Calabria and Puglia bringing up the rear on September 20th.

Students from the age of six will still be required to wear masks in the classroom this year, while in nurseries and kindergartens only teachers will be need to be masked. Schools are expected to distribute masks to both staff and students.

EXPLAINED: What parents in Italy should know about new Covid rules in schools

To keep crowds to a minimum, only one parent will be allowed to accompany their child directly outside the school building for drop offs and pick ups, and schools will have separate designated entrance and exit zones.

In the event that a teacher or student tests positive for Covid, a quarantine of seven days will be triggered for classmates who are vaccinated, and ten days for the unvaccinated, with affected students moving to distance learning.

Photo: Vincenzo PINTO / AFP

Changes to the rules on travel from some non-EU countries

Rules for travel to Italy have changed in response to the developing coronavirus situation. The Italian health ministry’s new travel ordinance came into force at the end of August, tightening restrictions on travel from some countries, and lifting them for others.

New restrictions on arrivals from the US, Canada, Japan and Israel mean they must now show proof of vaccination AND testing.

Meanwhile the quarantine rule for UK travellers was lifted, providing they can show proof of vaccination and testing.

Find more details here about the major changes to be aware of if you’re visiting or returning to Italy in September.

New travel restrictions for EU citizens travelling to the UK

September 30th will be the last day that EU citizens will be allowed to enter the UK using their EU identity cards, unless they meet certain criteria such as having settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme or having a frontier worker permit.

If you are travelling to the UK with an Italian partner, friend or relative from October 1st onwards, remind them that they will need a passport.

Member comments

  1. The concept of selling off deserted villages to private interests will possibly restore the villages to some degree of habitability if enough money is put into their restoration. It will also, should there be a change in property values, benefit the private investors.
    Deserted villages are not just about houses in which to live. They are questions. Why did the village become deserted in the first place…
    Access, ( height above sea level, transport connections etc, distance from major conurbations…. distance from friends and family.)
    Facilities. The loss of shops, bars, schools, doctors and other communal resources… for the elderly, the young, especially babies and their local health care.

    A more localised, communal and socially organised answer to the loss of villages, even State sponsored or EU sponsored, and dare I say, even CHURCH sponsored initiatives, would be of more benefit to local communities living in or near lost villages and towns. Organise options, don’t privatise the beauty of Italian villages and towns.

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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.