Italy extends state of emergency and travel ban: covid-19 restrictions

Covid-19: Italy imposes new restrictions

Italy extends state of emergency till April 30th 2021 and extends the travel ban between regions till March 27th. Sardinia is the first Italian region to be classified as a white zone. Visiting friends and family in red zones isn’t allowed anymore.

Italy’s new government led by Mario Draghi has confirmed Giuseppe Conte’s three-tier system in Italy, classifying regions into colored zones according to how critical the Rt index is (rate of transmission). Since November, Italy has been divided into three zones: yellow (safer), orange (medium risk) and red (high risk). In addition, a nationwide curfew from 10pm till 5am was implemented, still effective today. A white zone has now been implemented, with Sardinia being the only region with that classification. In the white zone, the curfew is effective from 11.30pm till 5am. 

With spikes in coronavirus cases, the previous Italian government led by Giuseppe Conte extended the state of emergency till April 30th, issuing a decree effective from January 16th to March 5th, further tightening restrictions. The following limitations were enforced, regardless of the classification of each region:

  • Travelling between regions is forbidden till March 27th, unless it’s for essential reasons (the rule applies even for yellow regions).
  • No more than two non-cohabiting people can visit the same home, unless they are also taking children under the age of 14 or disabled/non self-sufficient people who live with them.
  • Visiting a private home is allowed only once per day from 5am till 10pm. This means that if you visited your grandparents for lunch you cannot visit a friend for dinner on the same day. Of course, the place you’re visiting must be located in your same region (for yellow regions) and in your same city (for orange and red regions).

The previous Italian government had also introduced a “white zone” and skiing slopes, which were to reopen from February 15th in certain yellow regions, will now have to wait till March 5th. Keep in mind that the tightening of restrictions or the easing of restrictions in each region depends on the Rt index resulting from the monitoring of 21 parameters. Every 15 days the risk coefficients are analysed and according to the results, each region may be reclassified into a new zone. The new classifications will be effective from Mondays (instead of Sundays). Let’s take a look at the restrictions based on each zone and which region is affected.

 

Italy three zones covid

The White Zone

At the moment only Sardinia is classified as a white zone.

The government has introduced a new “White Zone” in the hope of giving a signal for the future. Italian regions are classified as white zones when the Rt index is below 1 and there are 50 or fewer weekly cases of Covid-19 for every 100,000 people, for three weeks in a row.  These regions are the safest and have less restrictions than other regions. The restrictions for the regions in the white zone are as follows: 

  • The night curfew moves from 10pm to 11.30pm. That means you’re not allowed to move around from 11.30pm till 5am.  
  • Restaurants are allowed to serve until 11pm. Food delivery is allowed nonstop without any restrictions.
  • Bars and pubs are allowed to stay open till 9pm.
  • Museums are allowed to reopen on weekends. 
  • Travelling to second homes in different regions is allowed.
  • Shopping malls will soon be able to reopen on weekends.
  • Gyms, theaters, cinemas and cultural centers will be able to reopen gradually.

The Yellow Zone

Italian regions are classified as yellow zones when the Rt index is below 1.

The following Italian regions have been classified as yellow regions from March 1st: Lazio, Puglia, Valle d’Aosta, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Veneto,  Calabria, Puglia and Sicily. These regions are safer according to the 21 parameters that are being monitored. The restrictions for the regions in the yellow zone are as follows:

  • You’re prohibited to move around from 10pm till 5am. In any case, the government recommends you to limit movements as much as possible. However, you are allowed to move in between regions in the yellow zone (this rule does not apply till March 27th, meaning no movements in between regions are permitted).
  • Travelling to second homes in different regions is allowed.
  • Museums are allowed to reopen on weekdays. 
  • Restaurants, bars, pubs, bakeries and gelaterias must close at 6pm. They will be able to operate on weekends and bank holidays too, following the same opening hours 5am – 6pm. In any of the above mentioned venues, you are only allowed to sit with a maximum of four people per table, unless you are living with the people you’re sitting with. Takeaway is allowed till 10pm for restaurants and 6pm for bars. Food delivery is allowed nonstop without any restrictions. There’s an exception for:
    • hotel restaurants which are allowed to stay open for hotel guests during their normal opening hours
    • food and beverage services on highways, airports, hospitals and train stations which are allowed to stay open past 6pm, as long as they can guarantee the social distancing of one meter
  • Shopping malls are to stay closed on weekends and public holidays except for grocery stores, alimentari, pharmacies, newsstands, tabacchis and other shops that sell essential goods that are inside the shopping mall.
  • Skiing slopes reopening postponed to March 5th in yellow regions: on February 15th the skiing slopes in Lombardia and Piemonte were supposed to reopen with a capacity of 30%. While Val d’Aosta was to reopen its skiing slopes on the 18th of February. On Sunday the government announced the scheduled openings were to be postponed to March 5th.
    • Lombardia and Piemonte have signed an ordinance which states that in each ski resort, the maximum number of daily presences cannot exceed 30% of the total hourly capacity of all ski lifts, while for ski resorts that have no more than two ski plants, the maximum number of daily presences is determined to be 50% of the total hourly capacity. Multi-day, weekly and seasonal subscribers must be guaranteed the place, within the limit of the daily quota, also through special booking systems.
    • Val d’Aosta will reopen with a maximum number of 30,000 people per day, below the maximum limit of 42,000 set by safety protocols. Only some skiing areas will be open as not all facilities have the conditions for economic or operational sustainability.

The Orange Zone

Italian regions are classified as orange zones when the Rt index is more than 1. Campania, Emilia-Romagna, Piemonte, Tuscany, Abruzzo, Liguria, Lombardia, Marche, Umbria, Trento and Bolzano are orange regions from from Monday March 1st. These regions are at an intermediate risk according to the 21 parameters that are being monitored. The restrictions for the regions in the orange zone are as follows:

  • You’re prohibited to move around from 10pm till 5am. The government recommends to limit movements within your city as much as possible.
  • Travelling in between regions and cities is prohibited, unless it’s for work, study or health reasons. For towns with less than 5000 inhabitants it is possible to travel outside the town without restrictions within a distance of 3okm from the town.
  • Travelling to second homes in different regions is allowed.
  • Restaurants and bars are to stay closed. Takeaway is allowed till 10pm and food delivery is allowed nonstop without any restrictions.
  • Shops, hair salons and beauty centers are to stay open. 
  • Shopping malls are to stay closed on weekends and public holidays except for grocery stores, alimentari, pharmacies, newsstands, tabacchis and other shops that sell essential goods that are inside the shopping mall.

The Red Zone

Some areas within Italian regions have been classified as red zones due to numerous cases of the UK Covid-19 variant. Basilicata and Molise are red regions from from Monday March 1st. These regions are at the highest risk according to the 21 parameters that are being monitored and will be facing local lockdowns. The restrictions for the regions in the red zone are as follows:

  • Travelling in between regions and cities is prohibited. Moving around your own city is not allowed, unless it’s for work, study or health reasons. 
  • Restaurants and bars are to stay closed. Takeaway is allowed till 10pm and food delivery is allowed nonstop without any restrictions.
  • Shops are to stay closed, except for grocery stores, alimentari, pharmacies, newsstands, tabacchis and other shops that sell essential goods.
  • Beauty salons are to stay closed. But hairdressers, barber shops, laundry services, pharmacies and parapharmacies remain open.
  • Visiting a private home is not allowed anymore.

Measures that apply all over Italy

These are the measures that have been adopted nationwide, in addition to the ones in each zone. To recap, on these days the whole nation will be classified into the following zones:

  • Travelling between regions is forbidden till March 27th, unless it’s for essential reasons (the rule applies even for yellow regions).
  • No more than two non-cohabiting people can visit the same home, unless they are also taking children under the age of 14 or disabled/non self-sufficient people who live with them.
  • Visiting a private home is allowed only once per day from 5am till 10pm only for yellow and orange zones. This means that if you visited your grandparents for lunch you cannot visit a friend for dinner on the same day. Of course, the place you’re visiting must be located in your same region (for yellow regions) and in your same city (for orange and red regions).

Nationwide curfew from 10pm to 5am

Italy has a nationwide curfew in place. All Italian citizens in all regions must stay in their homes from 10pm till 5am, except for regions in white zones whose curfew has been moved up to 11.30pm.

Self-certified form

You must have a self-certified form if you move after curfew, in between regions or if you’re in the red zone.

Quarantine

No quarantine is required for those arriving from the EU, a rapid antigen test done 48 hours prior to your arrival to Italy will be sufficient. Arrivals from the UK and Ireland will remain blocked till March 5th.

Gyms, swimming pools, wellness centers and spas are closed

All gyms, swimming pools, swimming centers, wellness centers and spas are to stay closed till March 5th. The only exception is for health facilities providing services falling under the category of essential assistance. Regions in white zones will gradually reopen these facilities.

Individual and team sports are suspended

This means, for example, that you’re not allowed to organize a football match with friends. Individual training in contact sports is also suspended.  While sports events and competitions recognized at the national or regional level by the Coni, the Paralympic Committee and the National Sports Federations are allowed. This means, for example, that the Serie A will still be running.

Working out and jogging are permitted

Working out and jogging are still permitted as long as there’s a social distancing of at least two meters. In the red zone you must work out near your home and on your own.

Cinemas, theaters and concerts are suspended

The decree sees the suspension of all theaters, cinemas and concert halls, even if held outdoors all over the nation. Regions in white zones will gradually reopen these venues.

Museums open only in yellow and white regions

Museums and art galleries are allowed to reopen only on weekdays in the yellow regions. While in the white zones they can reopen on weekends too.

Public transportation

The maximum capacity of local public transportation will be set at 50%.

Private events are not allowed

Any party, gathering and private event, even if resulting from a civil or religious ceremony, is not permitted.  That means that receptions linked to weddings, baptisms, communions and confirmations are prohibited.

Fairs, sagre and theme parks are suspended

Fairs and sagre are suspended. Only national and international trade fairs are allowed. Theme parks are to remain closed, too.

Inviting people into your home

Citizens are urged not to invite people into their homes, unless it’s for work, health or urgent matters. In any case, no more than two non-cohabiting people can visit the same home, unless they are also taking children under the age of 14 or disabled/non self-sufficient people who live with them.

Schools and universities

High schools are open again (except in the red zone) with attendance from 50 to 75 percent. Each region will continue to be able to adopt more restrictive ordinances. It’s also possible for university students to return to class. Kindergartens, elementary and middle schools will keep on having in-person classes in schools but mask will be mandatory.

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