The state of emergency in Italy is finally over! After more than two years of Covid-19 restrictions, on the 1st of April the country entered a new phase, with the easing of many pandemic-related rules. In fact, according to the new decrees, base green pass and super green pass (which is obtained through vaccination or recovered) will no longer be required at many venues, while the Minister of Health Roberto Speranza reiterated that face masks will remain a requirement indoors and on public transport, at least until the end of April.
“The end of the state of emergency does not mean that the virus is gone or that the pandemic is over” – he said during the transmission of the Italian TV show ‘Che tempo che fa’. Many restrictions will remain in place for at least another month: “Compared to other countries, we have chosen a more gradual approach,” Speranza explained. Italy must now deal with a virus (that is no longer unknown), using different tools, considered that the country has a high rate of protection, thanks to 91 percent of the population being vaccinated. “The pandemic is not over, it’s just that now we are managing it with ordinary instruments” – Speranza declared – “The real challenge now is to rebuild a new national health service; it is the most important thing we have”.
Moreover, Italy’s technical-scientific committee (CTS), the team of scientists and health experts which has advised and helped the government managing the pandemic, ceased to be operative on the 31st of March. It has been replaced by a special health ministry unit, which will have to complete the covid vaccination campaign and adopt other measures regarding the pandemic, until the end of the year.
This new phase is an essential part of Italy’s plans to gradually phase out its Covid restrictions by the summer. According to this plan, further easing of restrictions is expected in May, while in June Italy is set to dispense with most of its restrictions altogether, in line with the government’s aim to start paving a path to normality. Of course, the virus has not disappeared yet, but the 1st of April is certainly a symbolic date for Italy, the first step towards normality. Despite that, it is very important to remember that we still have to be careful and to respect the rules, in order to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe and to defeat covid once and for all.