Italian government wants to allow travel between regions from June 3rd

Restrictions on movement between regions of Italy will finally be lifted from June 3rd, according to a draft of the government's new lockdown rules.

Italian government wants to allow travel between regions from June 3rd
It could once more be possible to take a long-distance train in Italy from early June. Photo: Marco Bertorello/AFP

The Italian government is still finalizing the rules that will come into force after the current restrictions expire on Sunday, May 17th.

According to a draft of the new measures published in Italian media on Friday, crossing from one region of Italy to another will remain tightly limited until June 2nd – but from June 3rd, travel will only be restricted if an area is considered a high risk for coronavirus infections.


Meanwhile restrictions on travel within the same region will be dropped from Monday, May 18th, the draft states.

That means that, as expected, you will no longer need an 'autocertificazione' form to go outside after this weekend.

And while currently you can only leave your own town for urgent or essential reasons, from Monday you'll be able to visit friends, stay at your second home, go to the beach or take a holiday within your own region – unless the regional authorities there decide otherwise.

Photo: Piero Cruciatti/AFP

Some regional governments have already allowed residents more freedom to travel within their region, and are pushing to speed up Italy's exit from lockdown.

The government is said to be under pressure from the governors of Lombardy, Veneto and Emilia Romagna – three of the worst-affected regions – to let people cross freely between regions as soon as May 18th, according to reports.

But the draft suggests the national government would prefer to limit movement until after Italy's Republic Day holiday on Tuesday, June 2nd.

READ ALSO: What are the rules on travel around Italy during lockdown phase two?

Until then, if the draft rules are finalized, travelling between regions will only be possible for urgent work or health reasons, to return to your place of permanent residence, or in other emergencies. Travelling for any other reason can still earn you a fine.

Even after those restrictions are dropped nationally, they can still be maintained or reimposed in parts of the country where the epidemic remains severe.

The draft also states that local mayors will have the option to temporarily block off any areas where social distancing can't be enforced.

Meanwhile businesses allowed to reopen from May 18th – which now include bars, restaurants, hairdressers, barbers and beauty parlours as well as shops – will have to follow national and regional safety guidelines or face penalties. 

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Will Italy drop its Covid isolation rule as the infection rate falls?

The health ministry is reviewing its quarantine requirements as the country's Covid-19 health situation improved again this week, according to Italian media reports.

Will Italy drop its Covid isolation rule as the infection rate falls?

Italy has taken a more cautious approach to Covid in recent months than many of its European neighbours, keeping strict isolation rules in place for anyone who tests positive for the virus.

But this could be set to change in the coming days, according to media reports, as one of Italy’s deputy health ministers said the government is about to cut the isolation period for asymptomatic cases.

“Certainly in the next few days there will be a reduction in isolation for those who are positive but have no symptoms,” Deputy Health Minister Andrea Costa said in a TV interview on the political talk show Agorà on Tuesday.

“We have to manage to live with the virus,” he said.

Italy’s La Stampa newspaper reported that the compulsory isolation period could be reduced to 48 hours for those who test positive but remain asymptomatic – provided they subsequently test negative after the day two mark.

Under Italy’s current rules, vaccinated people who test positive must stay in isolation for at least seven days, and unvaccinated people for ten days – regardless of whether or not they have any symptoms.

READ ALSO: How tourists and visitors can get a coronavirus test in Italy

At the end of the isolation period, the patient has to take another test to exit quarantine. Those who test negative are free to leave; those who remain positive must stay in isolation until they get a negative test result, up to a maximum of 21 days in total (at which point it doesn’t matter what the test result says).

Health ministry sources indicated the new rules would cut the maximum quarantine period to 15 or even 10 days for people who continue to test positive after the initial isolation period is up, La Stampa said.

The government is believed to be reviewing the rules as the latest official data showed Covid infection and hospitalisation rates were slowing again this week, as the current wave of contagions appeared to have peaked in mid-July.

However, the national Rt number (which shows the rate of transmission) remained above the epidemic threshold, and the number of fatalities continued to rise.

The proposed changes still aren’t lenient enough for some parties. Regional authorities have been pushing for an end to quarantine altogether, even for people who are actively positive – an idea Costa appears sympathetic to.

“The next step I think is to consider the idea of even eliminating the quarantine, perhaps by wearing a mask and therefore being able to go to work,” he told reporters.

“We must review the criteria for isolation, to avoid blocking the country again”.

At least one health expert, however, was unenthusiastic about the proposal.

Dr Nino Cartabellotta, head of Italy’s evidence-based medicine group Gimbe, tweeted on Tuesday: “There are currently no epidemiological or public health reasons to abolish the isolation of Covid-19 positives”

Massimo Andreoni, professor of Infectious Diseases at the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery of the Tor Vergata University of Rome, was more ambivalent about the prospect.

The isolation requirement for asymptomatic cases should be “revised somewhat in the light of the epidemiological data”, he told reporters, but urged “a minimum of precaution, because the less the virus circulates and the fewer severe cases there are, the fewer new variants arise”.

When the question was last raised at the end of June, Health Minister Roberto Speranza was firmly against the idea of lifting quarantine requirements for people who were Covid positive.

“At the moment such a thing is not in question,” he told newspaper La Repubblica at the time. “Anyone who is infected must stay at home.”