Stars and Stripes – Italy will require a “green pass” for public places; the effect on U.S. military personnel in the country is unclear

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COVID-19 vaccination cards are distributed to the vaccinated after their vaccination. Italy has recognized the cards for Americans living in the country, but it’s unclear whether they will be recognized when new rules come into effect, requiring a so-called green pass for people to eat in restaurants or go to cinemas, gymnasiums and other places. (Macy Hinds / US Navy)

NAPLES, Italy – US military personnel may have difficulty obtaining a so-called “green pass” to eat inside restaurants or go to other public places, under new Italian government rules adopted to stem the growing number of COVID-19 cases and encourage citizens to get vaccinated.

Italy on Thursday approved a plan from August 6 that requires the pass for people 12 and older to access a variety of public places, including gyms, cinemas and pubs. Previously, the pass was only used to facilitate the movement of citizens between the EU and Schengen countries.

It was not immediately clear from an Italian government statement whether a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccination card would be accepted in place of a green pass at venues, although the air base d’Aviano indicated that it would be in updated guidelines Friday.

US Naval Support Activity Naples said in a statement Friday that management “is working with our legal team to confirm that the US CDC’s white vaccination card will serve as proof of vaccination for US servicemen, DoD civilians and their families in town. “.

“We are also working on the legal implications of this new policy for on-base services,” the statement said.

To be eligible for a green pass, people must prove that they have received at least one dose of the vaccine in the past nine months, that they have recovered from COVID-19 in the past six months, or that they have recovered from COVID-19 in the past six months. ‘they have tested negative within the previous 48 hours, the Associated Press reported Thursday.

The certification is necessary to “keep economic activity open” and will allow people to be entertained “with the assurance that they will not be next to contagious people,” Prime Minister Mario Draghi said, according to the report by the AP.

The embassies of the United States and Italy have verified that a CDC vaccination card will be accepted as proof of vaccination for travel, NSA Naples said in a Facebook post earlier this month.

The card is an “officially recognized substitution for the EU digital certificate when traveling to Italy,” the post said.

It is not certain that US citizens living in Italy would be entitled to a green pass if they were vaccinated on base or in America.

US newcomers to the US Army community in Vicenza, Italy get a taste of Bassano del Grappaa during a cultural integration course in June 2021. Italy has so far acknowledged COVID-19 vaccination cards issued by the United States.  But it's unclear whether they'll be recognized when new rules take effect, requiring a so-called green pass so people can eat inside restaurants or go to movie theaters, gyms and dances. 'other places.

US newcomers to the US Army community in Vicenza, Italy get a taste of Bassano del Grappaa during a cultural integration course in June 2021. Italy has so far acknowledged COVID-19 vaccination cards issued by the United States. But it’s unclear if they’ll be recognized when new rules take effect, requiring a so-called green pass so people can eat inside restaurants or go to movie theaters, gyms and dances. ‘other places. (Laura Kreider)

It’s also unclear how the pass requirement will affect international travelers once they arrive. Many are expected to flock to Italy in August, which is the traditional tourist season for much of Europe.

Italian authorities have yet to publicly discuss how traders should verify passes. Diners could still eat out without the passes under the rules.

The United States has several military installations in Italy in addition to the NSA in Naples and Aviano, including a naval base in Sicily and a United States Army garrison in Italy, headquartered in Vicenza.

Army officials said they plan to issue a new general order on restrictions on coronaviruses soon, with different rules for people vaccinated and unvaccinated.

During the pandemic, different orders often waited to review new rules after they were released before issuing guidelines.

Previously, Navy officials said more than 80% of active duty personnel in the Naples area were fully vaccinated.

Although the NSA Naples is tracking the vaccinations of dependents and DOD civilians assigned to the facility, the Navy does not release this data, said Morgan Gilliam, spokesperson for the Navy Region Europe Africa Central. The facility does not vaccinate Italian citizens who work on the base and therefore does not have data for them, said Gilliam.

Italy recorded 5,057 new coronavirus infections on Thursday, mostly due to the highly contagious Delta variant, according to Italy’s health ministry. Infections have risen steadily over the past month, from 480 new infections recorded on July 5 to 3,555 on Tuesday, according to data compiled by Reuters.

Almost 54% of the Italian population was fully vaccinated on Friday, according to the Ministry of Health.

Stars and Stripes journalists Nancy Montgomery and Norman Llamas contributed to this report.

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