SHARE
COPY LINK

CHILDREN

Here are Italy’s new quarantine rules on jogging, walking and taking kids outside

Can you go for a jog or not? Can parents take children out to get some fresh air? The Italian government has issued new guidance after confusion over the quarantine rules.

Here are Italy's new quarantine rules on jogging, walking and taking kids outside
Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP

Since national quarantine measures were enforced in Italy on March 12 there has been much confusion over whether you can go out for a run or even a walk, and whether parents can take children outside for some fresh air.

READ ALSO: The form you need to go outside under Italy's coronavirus rules

This has been especially unclear due to different regions imposing their own rules and individual police officers interpreting the new laws differently.

The Italian Interior Ministry on Tuesday sent out a circular to regional authorities clarifying how the rules should be enforced.

After numerous appeals to the government to let children outside for some fresh air after three weeks of quarantine, the government has said that it is allowing parents to take under-18s out for a short walk.

Each child can be accompanied by one adult – unless the children are siblings, in which case only one adult should be supervising them, the rules state.

Going out for a walk and a breath of fresh air near home is fine, though bike rides, games and other activities are still not allowed, the Interior Ministry clarified on Tuesday.

Elderly and disabled people are also allowed out for a short walk near home. No more than one other adult may accompany them.

Nothing changes when it comes to adults going for a run, jog or walk alone. This is allowed, as these all count as forms of exercise, as long as people stay “near home”. Though exactly how near may depend on regional rules, with some local authorities requiring people stay within 200 metres of their homes.

READ ALSO: 

“The motor activities allowed should not be understood as equivalent to sports (jogging)”, the text stated.

People are allowed to walk or run “in the vicinity of their homes” but are still “forbidden to carry out recreational activities outdoors, and access parks, villas, play areas and public gardens,”

This exercise, according to the circular, is allowed for “reasons of necessity or health”.

Anyone going outside for these reasons must still complete a self-certification form and take it with them.

Photo: AFP

The new guidance sparked criticism from some regional authorities who said it gave the wrong message to the public at a crucial moment.

“This is not the time to let your guard down. The circular issued by the Ministry of the Interior risks creating a devastating psychological effect by frustrating the efforts and sacrifices made so far,” Lombardy's Regional Councilor for Welfare, Giulio Gallera, told La Repubblica.

It “could be taken as a signal of easing of the containment measures,” he contiued. “Strict, important measures which have allowed us to contain the curve of the coronavirus contagions.”

“The light at the end of the tunnel is likely to go out completely when ambiguous messages are given: the useful indication for everyone must be to stay at home for a few more weeks. Only in this way will we be able to defeat this sneaky and invisible enemy. “

In response, the Interior Ministry stressed that the rules had not been relaxed but these were “only interpretative details of the current regulatory framework.”

“You can leave your home only in the cases already provided for by the emergency decrees: for work, for reasons of absolute urgency or necessity, and for health reasons “.

Some regions are on Wednesday continuing to follow different rules, despite the national government's guidance. Everyone living in Italy is advised to check their regional authority's website to find out what is and isn't allowed where they are.

Last week the government upped the maximum fine for breaking quarantine rules from €206 to €3,000 euros. Penalties are even higher in some regions under local rules.

READ ALSO: How lockdowns and restrictions across different European countries may have saved lives

Member comments

  1. Anyone know the latest about walking outside in Sicily. A friend said it was okay as from Sunday morning to go walking. Wehave already been fined e280 for walking in the hills so we have to get it right this time. Thanks (and lets hope it will be over soon!)

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

COVID-19

Covid-19: Are Italian live events at risk of being postponed?

As the infection rate rises sharply across the country, Italian virologists are calling for concerts and festivals to be rescheduled.

Covid-19: Are Italian live events at risk of being postponed?

Italy has seen a large increase in the number of Covid-19 cases in recent days, so much so that a number of virologists across the country are now urging the government to postpone major live events in a bid to curb infections. 

According to a new report by Italy’s independent health watchdog, the Gimbe Foundation, 595,349 new cases were recorded in the week from June 29th to July 5th; a worrying 55 percent increase on the previous week. 

In the same time span, the country also registered a 32.8 percent rise in the number of hospitalised patients, which went from 6,035 to 8,003.  

The latest Covid wave, which is being driven by the highly contagious Omicron 5 variant, is a “real cause for concern”, especially in terms of a “potential patient overload”, said Nino Cartabellotta, president of the Gimbe Foundation. 

As Italian cities prepare to host a packed calendar of concerts and festivals this summer, health experts are questioning whether such events should actually take place given the high risk of transmission associated with mass gatherings.

READ ALSO: What tourists in Italy need to know if they get Covid-19

“Rescheduling these types of events would be the best thing to do right now,” said Massimo Ciccozzi, Director of Epidemiology at Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome. 

The summer wave is expected to peak in mid-July but, Ciccozzi warns, the upcoming live events might “delay [the peak] until the end of July or even beyond” and extend the infection curve.

Antonello Maruotti, Professor of Statistics at LUMSA University of Rome, recently shared Ciccozzi’s concerns, saying that live events as big as Maneskin’s scheduled Rome concert are “definitely not a good idea”. 

The Italian rock band are slated to perform at the Circus Maximus on Saturday, July 9th but the expected turnout – over 70,000 fans are set to attend the event – has raised objections from an array of Italian doctors, with some warning that the concert might cause as many as 20,000 new cases.

If it were to materialise, the prospected scenario would significantly aggravate Lazio’s present medical predicament as there are currently over 186,000 Covid cases in the region (nearly 800 patients are receiving treatment in local hospitals). 

Italian rock band Maneskin performing in Turin

Italian rock band Maneskin are expected to perform at the Circus Maximus in Rome on Saturday, July 9th. Photo by Marco BERTORELLO / AFP

But, despite pleas to postpone the event, it is likely that Maneskin’s concert will take place as scheduled.

Alessandro Onorato, Rome’s Tourism Councillor, said that rescheduling is “out of question” and that “all recommendations from the local medical authorities will be adopted” with the help of the event’s organisers and staff on the ground.

At the time of writing, there is also no indication that the Italian government will consider postponing other major live events scheduled to take place in the coming weeks, though the situation is evolving rapidly and a U-turn on previous dispositions can’t be ruled out.

READ ALSO: At a glance: What are the Covid-19 rules in Italy now?

On this note, it is worth mentioning that Italy has now scrapped all of its former Covid measures except the requirement to wear FFP2 face masks on public transport (though not on planes) and in healthcare settings.

The use of face coverings is, however, still recommended in all crowded areas, including outdoors – exactly the point that leading Italian doctors are stressing in the hope that live events will not lead to large-scale infection.

Antonio Magi, President of Rome’s OMCEO (College of Doctors, Surgeons and Dentists), said: “Our advice is to wear FFP2 masks […] in high-risk situations.”

“I hope that young people will heed our recommendations and think about the health risks that their parents or grandparents might be exposed to after the event [they attend].”

SHOW COMMENTS