ROME, Italy – Italy began pulling out COVID-19 restrictions on Friday, April 1, lifting a state of emergency imposed by the government more than two years ago that allowed it to skip bureaucracy and quickly impose laws by decrees.
The state of emergency was imposed on January 31, 2020, however, Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s administration stated plans to return to normal in March after deciding not to extend it. It came to a close on Thursday, March 31.
“A new phase is beginning…. This does not mean that the pandemic is over. There is no ‘off’ button that magically makes the virus disappear,” Health Minister Roberto Speranza told La Repubblica.
Italy was the first Western country to be struck by the COVID-19 pandemic, with 159,383 deaths (the 9th highest total in the world) and over 14.6 million cases.
The government has relaxed capacity restrictions at outdoor and indoor sporting venues, as well as the need that everyone over the age of 50 to be vaccinated before entering their workplace.
Workers in the healthcare industry will be required to be vaccinated until December 31.
Travelers to Italy, one of the world’s best places to visit, have had their rules relaxed.
Visitors must still present their COVID-19 health certificates and fill out a passenger locator form.