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LIFE IN ITALY

The things you still can’t do in Italy

While Italy has dropped many of its lockdown restrictions, daily life is far from back to normal. Here's what the government won't yet re-allow.

Travel between regions or abroad

While you're free to move around your own region, venturing any further is only allowed in cases of absolutely necessity – such as returning to your place of address, going to a medical appointment or doing urgent work. 

The same rules apply to international travel into or out of Italy. Find more information on the current regulations here.

The restrictions on travel within Italy are scheduled to end from June 3rd, when you'll once more be free to cross between regions for any purpose. At the same time, Italy will open its borders to travellers arriving from (or going to) countries in the European Union or Schengen Area, as well as the UK.

For more information on the upcoming changes, see here.

Throw parties (or picnics)

In line with social distancing, you're supposed to avoid any kind of large gathering – public or private. That includes picnics and barbecues outdoors, large dinners at your home, or parties in restaurants or hired venues.

You're free to see friends, family and anyone else, but the government recommends you wear a face mask and keep at least a metre apart. It hasn't specified how many people can meet up at once, but if you're in public, bars, restaurants, cafés and/or police will be enforcing social distancing guidelines.

READ MORE: What are Italy's new rules on going to bars and restaurants?


Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP

Forget your face mask

You'll find that covering your face has become compulsory in many public spaces in Italy, including transport, shops, restaurants and museums. Read more about the rules here

Some places may also require you to wear gloves – for instance, clothes shops where you're likely to be touching merchandise.

Failing to respect the rules may result in you being refused entry, so make sure you take your PPE with you whenever you're out in public.

Eat out without a reservation

Restaurants may have reopened for service, but don't assume you can show up spontaneously. Eateries have been advised to go reservation-only to avoid overcrowding.

The same applies to hairdressers, barbers, beauty salons, and even museums and libraries that have started reopening too.


Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

Go to the gym or pool

Sports facilities aren't set to reopen until May 25th, and even then will operate at reduced capacity due to social distancing precautions.

Meanwhile playing team and contact sports like football and basketball remains officially forbidden. All sport competitions, including Italy's Serie A football league, are suspended until at least June 15th.

Attend a play or concert

Theatres, opera houses and all other performance venues in Italy remain closed until June 15th. 

When they reopen, audiences will be capped at 250 for indoor venues and 1,000 for outdoor performances, while spectators will have to wear face masks and maintain social distancing.

Go to the cinema (or get popcorn)

Cinemas are also closed until June 15th. As well as seating few spectators per showing, they'll be barred from selling popcorn or drinks.

CALENDAR: What will Italy reopen next under new lockdown rules?


Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP

Go dancing

Nightclubs and dancehalls are closed indefinitely, including for private parties.

Have a spa day

Spas and thermal baths are also closed for the time being, with no reopening date yet announced.

Organize a march

While the government has not outlawed public protests, it says they must be 'static': i.e. socially distanced sit-ins that remain in one place. 

Any other kind of march, such as a parade or funeral procession, is obviously not allowed either.

Go to school (or send your kids there)

Italian schools and nurseries will remain closed until September, the government decided back in April.

However, summer camps and other programmes for children will be allowed to start up from June 15th.

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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].”

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