Italy reopens: the official guidelines from May 18th

Italy reopens after lockdown: the official guidelines from May 18th

Restaurants, bars, hairdressers, museums and stores to reopen in Italy from May 18th

Today, May 18th, Italy takes another step towards normality. Restaurants, bars, hairdressers, museums and shops will be able to reopen after two months of lockdown. We’ll also be able to see our friends after all this time. But there are still strict measures that are part of this new phase, including social distancing, wearing face masks and many precautionary measures. Here’s everything you need to know about the new guidelines.

Self-certified form

From Monday May 18th, you can say goodbye to your self-certified form. You will be able to move freely within your region without certifying your movements. For movements in between regions, the self-certified form will still be mandatory.


For now, you can travel freely only within your region. Movements throughout other regions are not allowed, unless it’s for work, emergency or health reasons. In this case, you will need to fill out your self-certified form.

  • When can I travel to other Italian regions? You will be allowed to travel to other Italian regions from June 3rd.
  • When can I travel to European countries? Travel across European countries will be allowed from June 3rd only for Schengen area countries.
  • Do I have to self-quarantine when I got to another country? From June 3rd you will not have to self quarantine for 14 days when you travel to another region or country.
  • May I go to my second home (ex: summer home)? You may go to your second home as long as it’s in your same region. For second homes located in other regions you must wait till June 3rd.

Face masks

Face masks will still be mandatory in all closed spaces accessible to the public. It is not mandatory to wear face masks in public, unless you’re walking through a crowded area.

Social distancing

Social distancing is still very much in place. The distance between you and others is of one meter. For the Lazio region a 1.5-meter distance is recommended.

Seeing friends

After almost two months, you’ll finally be able to see your friends again, as long as they are in your same region. Social distancing is still mandatory as is wearing face masks in closed spaces. Gatherings and parties are still prohibited.

Restaurants and bars

Restaurants and bars will reopen from May 18th. The new guidelines state that there must be one meter between each customer (the Lazio region recommends 1.5 meters). Buffets are prohibited, staff members will be wearing face masks and gloves at all times, and menus will have to be printed daily, sent digitally or written on boards. Customers are obliged to wear face masks indoors when they are not eating and when time they get up from the table (to pay, to go to the bathroom etc).

  1. Will there be plexiglass barriers at restaurants? It is not mandatory to have plexiglass barriers at restaurants but you will probably find some in smaller restaurants. Plexiglass barriers will surely be at the register when you pay.
  2. Do I have to sit one meter from my friends at restaurants? Yes, the distance of one meter must always be respected at restaurants, unless you are with a congiunto (family, relatives and relationship).
  3. Are reservations mandatory? Reservations are not mandatory but highly suggested.
  4. Will I be able to have coffee at the bar counter? Yes, as long as there is at least a meter’s distance between you and others.

Hairdressers and barbers

From May 18th, hairdressers, barbers and beauty centers will reopen under strict measures. Advance bookings will be mandatory to enter hairdressers, barbers and beauty centers. Face masks should always be worn and you should sanitize your hands at the entrance. The venues are obliged to use disposable equipment and gowns. Saunas, Turkish baths and jacuzzis are prohibited. Due to the restricted measures, salons will be allowed to extend opening hours and opening days.

Shops and Shopping Malls

Shops and shopping malls will also reopen on May 18th. Shopping malls’ parking slots will be halved, hand sanitizer dispensers will be in all shops, face masks and gloves (which will be supplied by each shop) must be worn at all times (also when you try on clothes). Before you enter a shop you’ll have to wait for your turn in line. In shopping malls, there will be thermal scanners that will take the temperature of all customers. Entrance will only be allowed those that have a temperature lower than 37.5°C.

Gyms & Sports

Gyms and swimming pools will reopen from May 25th. In the meantime, you can still practice individual sports outdoors. You may not practice group sports.

  • May I play soccer? No, you may not play soccer or any other group sports including basketball, volleyball and rugby.
  • May I play tennis? Yes, you may play tennis. You must arrive to the tennis court or country club with your sports wear already on. The government suggests you take a shower directly at home and not at the country club. It’s forbidden to play doubles.
  • May I have individual pilates/yoga lessons? Yes, you may have individual pilates/yoga lessons. From May 25th you will be able to have group pilates lessons as well, as long as there are two meters between you and others.

Museums and Art Galleries

Museums and art galleries are allowed to reopen from May 18th. The new rules involve social distancing, limited access, mandatory reservations and face masks at all times.

Click here to see the Current Exhibitions in Rome

Churches and Religious Ceremonies

There will be limited access to churches. For cathedrals and basilicas only 200 people will be allowed for mass, even if the church is very big. For outdoor religious ceremonies, a maximum of 1000 people are allowed. The minimum distance of one meter must always be respected; face masks are mandatory; there will be no Holy Water in the stoups; the sign of peace is prohibited; chorus is prohibited; there will be no booklets; church offerings and donations will be done at the entrance of the church and not during the service; and church doors must always be open.

Public Transportation

Public transportation will be sanitized daily. Wearing face masks is mandatory, social distancing of at least one meter must be respected, there will be a 50% reduced seating and standing capacity on all public transportation, and there will be marked seating and sanitising dispensers at ticket offices. You will have to get on the public transportation from the entrance door and exit from the exit doors.

Cinemas and Theaters

Cinemas, theaters and performance venues remain closed for now. They will be able to reopen from June 15th. Only 200 people will be allowed in closed spaces and 1000 people in outdoor spaces.


Beaches also reopen in Italy from May 18th, however there are still restrictions along the Roman Coast. Check out the anti-contagion rules to follow at the beach this summer.

Air conditioning

Air conditioning is allowed to be turned on as long as the air filters have been cleaned and/or changed. Recirculation mode is strictly prohibited.

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