Italy: COVID ‘Green Pass’ needed for museums, indoor dining

Aug 6, 2021, 4:11 AM | Updated: 7:25 am

ROME (AP) — Pompeii’s archaeological park is offering free swab tests, the Vatican Museums posted refund instructions and tourists whipped out smart phones to show QR codes along with admission tickets Friday as a new COVID-19 certification rule took effect in Italy as part of the government’s plan to rein in a summer surge in infections.

A so-called “Green Pass” is now required to enter archaeological sites, gyms, theaters, indoor pools and the indoor sections of restaurants, bars and cafes. To obtain a certificate, individuals must show they have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine approved for use in the European Union, recovered from COVID-19 in the past six months or have negative lab results from a test done within the previous 48 hours.

The government announced the rule on July 22. Some 50 million of Italy’s 60 million residents had downloaded the certification by late July.

Vaccine certificates issued by the United States, Canada, Japan and Israel will be accepted for tourists arriving from those countries.

Along the sidewalk flanking Vatican City’s walls, visitors to the Vatican Museums – one of the world’s most popular attractions – got ready to show their cellphones with their QR certificates to staffers at the entrance. The line moved briskly.

Visitors from France found the new Italian system familiar. Their country has already introduced entrance requirements even tougher than Italy’s since they also apply to outdoor dining,

“It is good for everybody’s safety. It is positive for the economy, too,” French tourist Alexine Prentignac said.

While many find it convenient to flash their Green Pass on a phone, paper certification is acceptable in Italy. The Vatican Museums website cautioned visitors to have an identity document handy so staff could “verify actual ownership” of the Green Pass. For anyone unwilling or unable to comply, the website offered instructions on how to request a ticket refund.

At Pompeii, one of Italy’s most-visited tourist sites, officials teamed up with the city of Naples to offer coronavirus tests during the opening hours of the sprawling park featuring the ancient Roman city’s ruins. For now, the tests are being given on an experimental basis, free-of-charge.

During a global emergency like the pandemic, “it’s the task of those who manage a culture site to reconcile as best as possible the needs of health and public safety with our mission to be an inclusive place,´´ accessible to all, said Pompeii’s director general, Gabriel Zuchtriege.

Business owners quickly wove the change into their customer routines. Fabrizio De Falco, the owner of a cafe near St. Peter’s Basilica with both an outdoor terrace and indoor tables, also regarded it a necessary adjustment during the pandemic.

“It is one more duty. It is an additional workload, but it is worth it if it will get us out from this situation,” said

The Green Pass rule applies to those 12 or older, since children under that age aren’t eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in Italy.

Much of leisure life in Italy during warm months is spent outdoors. Gyms, cinemas and theaters frequently close in August since staff and clients opt for vacations during the month. With air-conditioning still a relatively new phenomenon for many businesses, dining outdoors at trattorias and cafes is a summertime tradition in much of the nation.

Right-wing leader Matteo Salvini, whose League party is part of Italy’s coalition government, had voiced worry that any Green Pass requirements for long-distance travel would discourage domestic and international tourism. The tourist industry accounts for 13% of Italy’s GDP.

On Thursday evening, Premier Mario Draghi’s Cabinet approved a new rule making such certification obligatory starting on Sept. 1 for those taking flights, high-speed or inter-regional trains or ships sailing between regions. An exception was made for ferries which frequently ply the narrow strait between Sicily and Calabria, a route taken by many commuters and students.

___

AP journalist Paolo Santalucia contributed from Vatican City.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Solomon Islands Foreign Minister Jeremiah Manele addresses a media conference at Parliament in Well...
Associated Press

Solomon Islands agreed to accord after China references axed

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Solomon Islands agreed to sign an accord between the United States and more than a dozen Pacific nations only after indirect references to China were removed, the Solomon Islands foreign minister said Tuesday. “There were some references that put us in a position where we’ll have to choose sides, and […]
21 hours ago
Associated Press

After storms, NYC moving location of planned migrant shelter

NEW YORK (AP) — A facility using giant tents to temporarily house migrants being sent to New York City will now be located closer to Manhattan instead of a remote corner of the Bronx, Mayor Eric Adams announced Monday, after weekend storms raised concerns over flooding at the original site. The city’s humanitarian relief center […]
21 hours ago
Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs (28) scores a touchdown against the Denver Broncos durin...
Associated Press

Justices won’t revive Oakland’s lawsuit over loss of Raiders

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Monday rejected Oakland’s last-ditch effort to revive an antitrust lawsuit against the National Football League over the Raiders’ move to Las Vegas in 2020. The city had been seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in its claim that the league violated federal antitrust law by acting like a […]
21 hours ago
Navy Rear Adm. John Wade, commander of Joint Task Force Red Hill, speaks to reporters at a media ro...
Associated Press

Navy admiral to seek community input on Red Hill fuel tanks

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii (AP) — The commander of the task force responsible for draining fuel from a World War II-era storage tank facility that leaked jet fuel and poisoned Pearl Harbor’s tap water last year said Monday he’s exploring ways to get community feedback. Rear Adm. John Wade told reporters at a news […]
21 hours ago
FILE - Democrat Charles Booker speaks to a group of supporters following his victory in the Kentuck...
Associated Press

Booker brands GOP Sen. Rand Paul as ‘barrier’ to progress

Democrat Charles Booker railed against Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul as a “barrier” to progress Monday night as he made a pitch to Kentucky voters in a solo appearance on statewide television. Booker, a former state lawmaker, touted his plans to expand health care access, stoutly defended his support for abortion rights and said policymakers […]
21 hours ago
Immigrants gather with their belongings outside St. Andrews Episcopal Church, Wednesday Sept. 14, 2...
Associated Press

Reports: Migrant flights’ mysterious recruiter identified

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — The mysterious woman who allegedly lured dozens of migrants on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ flights to Martha’s Vineyard from San Antonio has been identified by several media outlets as Perla H. Huerta, a former combat medic and U.S. Army counterintelligence agent living in Tampa. The New York Times reported late Sunday […]
21 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
...
Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
Italy: COVID ‘Green Pass’ needed for museums, indoor dining