Italy's national rules allowed beaches to reopen to the public from May 18, with various restrictions in place, with the latest decree stating that each beach umbrella must have a space of ten square metres around it and recommending that private beaches require advance bookings.
Beach staff will be required to disinfect sunbeds between uses, and many private beaches plan to use disposable sheets on sun loungers.
A beach manager covers a sunbed with a dispoable sheet at a prviate beach in Jesolo, near Venice. Photo: AFP
While there has been discussion of separating bathers with plexiglass panels, it's uncertain whether many beaches will really adopt such measures.
However, as with many other rule changes in phase two, the restrictions and timings vary by region and municipality.
Some local governments have pushed ahead, allowing their beaches to open as soon as possible, while others are being cautious and introducing further measures aimed at controlling crowds.
In some areas, private beaches and lidos are already able to reopen, while it's still unclear when public or “free” beaches (spiagge libere) – which often become very crowded – will be allowed to do so.
Until June 3rd, you're only able to visit beaches within your own region.
Here's a quick overview of the differences, region by region.
Public beaches were allowed to open in Liguria as early as May 18. Ventimiglia was the first municipality in Liguria to open its public beaches to residents on May 17th. Many private beaches are not yet open.
Regional president Giovanni Toti accepted the 10 square metres rule with no changes- though there are concerns that, given the relatively small coastline in Liguria, there will be few umbrellas available on private beaches and a risk of crowds on public ones.
All beaches in Veneto got the green light for reopening from May 18th, and in Venice from Saturday May 23rd. However, many are not yet open as they're still getting set up. The regional government here has not changed the requirement to allow 10 square metres around unbrellas.
The region's beaches were allowed to open from May 23rd. With plenty of space on its famed riviera's beaches, Emilia-Romagna's government has increased the distance around the umbrellas to 12 square meters.
In Tuscany the beaches were allowed to open from May 18, and the safety distance between the umbrellas is 10 square metres.
Stretching down the Adriatic coast, the Marche region is well-known for its beach towns. Beaches are allowed to reopen here from May 29th, though some municipalities have already allowed walks on the beach (but not swimming or sunbathing). On beaches here, the minimum safety area has been widened slightly to 10.5 square metres
Beaches can reopen here from June 1st. As well as the 10-metre distance rule, here the regional council has decided to delimit areas around each umbrella with tape. You'll also need to reserve umbrellas (here it's an obligation, rather than a recommendation as under national rules) online via a platform created by the region.
The region around Rome has given the green light for beaches to reopen from May 29, and the ten-square-metre distance rule applies. From May 18, beaches on the Lazio coast were allowed to reopen for walks and water sports, includig swimming.
In the region around Naples, both public and private beaches were allowed to reopen from Saturday 23rd, keeping the requirement for 10 square meters of space around the umbrellas.
Another popular summer holiday destination for Italians as well as international tourists, Puglia's beaches were allowed to reopen from Monday May 25th according to the regional ordinance signed by the governor Michele Emiliano, including the 10-square-metre distance requirement.
With the 10-square-metre rule in place, regional governor Jole Santelli allowed beaches to reopen from May 20.
The beaches have been accessible in Sardinia since May 18, but swimming is not yet allowed. 75 percent of the island's beaches are public, and there's still some uncertainty about what the rules will be, and how they'll be enforced.
Beaches are allowed to open to bathers from June 6t in Sicily, though sports and other activities, including swimming, are already allowed on the island's coast.
As local rules vary and are subject to change, it's advisable to check for updates on the websites of your region and comune before heading to the beach,