ROME

Vaccine holdouts in Italy might find it harder to look after their looks from Thursday, as tightened government restrictions mean they will need a COVID pass to visit hair salons or beauty parlors.

Customers for these establishments need to produce a “basic” COVID certificate, showing that they have tested negative for coronavirus within the previous 48 or 72 hours, depending on the kind of test.

It is a burden for the unvaccinated, as getting tested costs around 15 euros ($17). The vaccinated, or those who have recovered from COVID-19, are instead given a “super” certificate, which does not expire every two or three days.

“We are all happy to work with this additional measure, which ensures more safety for us,” Marta Pietrangeli, a manager at the ContestaRock hair salon in Rome’s Testaccio neighborhood, told Anadolu Agency.

She said the store has received calls from some unvaccinated customers, but all intended to get in line with the new rules. “They provide an extra reason for everyone to reach the decision to get vaccinated.”

Like the rest of Europe, Italy has been struggling in recent weeks with a coronavirus surge driven by the omicron variant. On Wednesday, it reported 192,320 new cases and 380 related deaths, but experts believe the wave is near its peak.

Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s government has responded to the health crisis with some of the world’s most stringent curbs for the unvaccinated, barring them from most social or leisure activities.

With a “basic” pass, people are still allowed to go to work. But a “super” certificate, showing proof of vaccination or recovery, is required to enter bars and restaurants, use public transport, or go to cinemas, museums, gyms and sports stadiums.

Over 76% of Italians have received at least two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. Inoculation is mandatory for those aged 50 and above.

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