Phase Two: What changes in Italy from May 4th?

Phase Two: What changes in Italy from May 4th?
Italy has relaxed its lockdown rules partially, but not entirely. Photo: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP
As Italy enters the second phase of its coronavirus lockdown, here are the new rules on what you can do from Monday.

A new government decree comes into force from May 4th, replacing the strict lockdown rules that had been in place nationwide for more than seven weeks.

While it gives back some liberties, including going to the park and exercising outdoors, freedom of movement remains limited – especially over longer distances.

From now until May 17th, here's what changes for people in Italy.

You can travel home

From May 4th you are allowed to return to your permanent place of residence in Italy, even if it means going from one region to another.

READ ALSO: Will we still need a form to go outside under Italy's lockdown phase two?

But once you get home you're expected to stay there: you can't go back and forth between two addresses. And if you're travelling to the south of Italy, some regions have imposed a mandatory quarantine for anyone returning from the north.

Anyone returning to Italy from overseas, meanwhile, is obliged to spend two weeks in self-isolation. Find more details here on the rules for entering Italy from abroad, which remain unchanged in Phase Two.


Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP

You can visit relatives who live in the same region as you

Seeing “congiunti” (relatives or kin) is now considered a legitimate reason to travel within your own region. The definition includes spouses, partners, parents, children, in-laws, siblings, aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, cousins, cousins' children and “people linked by a stable bond of affection” – but not friends.

READ ALSO: Who exactly are you allowed to visit under Italy's 'phase two' lockdown rules?

Family parties, like any kind of gathering, remain banned. You'll have to wear a face mask and maintain social distancing when socializing with any of your “congiunti”.

You can go to the park 

You'll have to keep your distance from others; some areas where it's hard to do so, such as children's playgrounds or outdoor gyms, may remain closed or limit the number of people who can enter at once.

Picnics or other gatherings are strictly forbidden, and you should go to the park alone unless accompanying children or someone who needs assistance.

And while the national government has given the OK, ultimately it's up to each regional governor or town mayor to decide when local parks can reopen.

You can leave your neighbourhood to exercise

You'll be allowed to go on long walks, runs or bike rides for exercise without having to stay within a 200-metre radius of your home address.

But you'll be expected to maintain a safe distance from others at all times, and team sports will remain banned.


People exercise in Rome on May 3rd. Photo: Vincenzo PInto/AFP

Some regions have also said that they will allow people to travel within the region for the purpose of exercising: driving to the mountains, for examples, or taking the bus to a swimming pool.

You'll have to wear a face mask

The national government says masks or other face coverings are now compulsory in all enclosed public spaces, for instance on public transport and in shops or offices.

READ ALSO: When and where do you need to wear a face mask in Italy?

Some regions require them anywhere in public, including on the street or in parks.

More people will be going back to work

The construction, manufacturing, wholesale and real estate sectors are allowed to resume activity from May 4th, along with architects, accountants, engineers, lawyers and other professionals.


Passengers at Milan train station on May 4th. Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP

You can pick up a takeaway

Cafes, restaurants, gelaterie and pasticcerie, which could previously offer only home delivery, are now allowed to serve takeaways from their premises – though food must be eaten at home, not on the street, to avoid groups gathering outside.

You can buy plants and flowers

Garden centres and plant kiosks are officially allowed to reopen, joining the limited list of shops currently serving customers.

Supermarkets, grocers, newsstands, pharmacies, book shops, stationers and children's clothing stores remain open, but no other shops will be lifting the shutters until at least May 18th.

Funerals will resume

While weddings, baptisms, mass and other ceremonies remain forbidden, from May 4th it is once again possible to hold funerals. Attendees must be limited to 15 people – close family only – and should wear face masks and follow social distancing.

What hasn't changed?

You'll still need a self-certification form to go outside (find the latest version here) – though reports in the Italian press suggest that police will be a bit more relaxed about checking them. 

And anyone with Covid-19 symptoms (fever, tiredness, dry cough) must remain in isolation at home to limit the risk of getting others sick. Call your doctor or one of Italy's coronavirus helplines if you feel unwell.


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