UPDATE: What will Italy’s latest Covid-19 emergency decree change?

UPDATE: What will Italy's latest Covid-19 emergency decree change?
The Italian government is reviewing the current measures intended to stem the spread of Covid-19 with a new decree due in the coming days. Here’s what we can expect. (This article was updated on October 12th)

*Note: This article is now out of date. Please see here for the most recent update.*

The Italian parliament was set to approve the latest emergency decree on Wednesday October 7th, but ministers now have until October 15th to approve the full set of rules.

Italian PM Giuseppe Conte on Monday morning confirmed to reporters that the decree could be ready as soon as Monday evening.

The new measures are widely expected to be tougher than were originally set in a draft seen last week, as cases have risen sharply since.

Italy’s daily infections surpassed 5,000 in recent days for the first time since March.

IN MAPS: Where and how coronavirus cases are rising in Italy

Parliament on Wednesday did however approve a separate decree with a requirement for masks to be worn in public places – indoors and outdoors – at all times.

While the final text of the October decree has not yet been published, and may now be adjusted before October 15th, here's a look at what is expected to be included in the new decree.

Ban on parties

Health minister Roberto Speranza said on Sunday night that he had proposed a nationwide ban on parties, including gatherings on private property, saying this was needed to keep schools open due to the high number of transmissions between family members.

“Parties will not only be banned for kids, but for everyone,” he said on Italy's Rai TV channel. “We need to send a very clear message.”

“I'm convinced that the vast majority of people will follow the instructions contained in an emergency decree.”While it is unclear how such a measure could be enforced, Speranza added: “When there is a rule, Italians have shown that they respect it and that they don't need a policeman to monitor them.”

Ban on amateur contact sports

The government is also believed to be debating a ban on amateur contact sports, including five-a-side football, according to reports in Italian media.

Quarantine may be reduced to ten days

The government's scientific advisory panel has reportedly recommended that the mandatory quarantine period be cut from 14 days to ten, news agency Ansa reports.

Rapid coronavirus tests may also be carried out by GPs at doctors' surgeries within the nxt few weeks, ministers said on Monday. Currently you need to get a referral from your doctor to take a test at an approved local clinic or testing centre.

Restaurant curfew?

Last week, a suggested nationwide limit on the opening times of bars and restaurants was ruled out.

However local and regional authorities may order local curfews if deemed necessary.

City authorities in Rome, for example, are expected to introduce measures reducing opening hours for bars and restaurants, Ansa reports.

Photo: AFP
 
Local lockdowns?
 
The new decree is expected to set out guidelines for local authorities which deem it necessary to bring in a localised lockdown if outbreaks become difficult to control in a particular area.
 
Ministers have previously said that another national lockdown like the one that began in March will not be necessary. Italian PM Giuseppe Conte last week said he “doesn't see a lockdown on the horizon.”
 
 
Italy's regional governments have been able to implement their own rules modifying the national measures, as the country's current state of emergency gives extra powers to the regions.
 
Under the latest decree these powers are set to be curtailed and regions will only b able to adopt stricter, not softer, rules.
 
They'll only be allowed to relax certain anti-contagion measures after obtaining permission from the government's technical-scientific committee (CTS), the panel of scientific experts which advises the government.

 

What stays the same:
 
Businesses are not expected to be shut down.
 
The draft decree text reportedly allows for “selective” closures of businesses – including bars and restaurants – if there is an “adverse” situation regarding infections locally.
 
Cinemas, theatres and concert venues are expected to be allowed to remain open. Italy's culture minister said they can continue to allow up to 200 spectators per performance indoors, and 1,000 outdoors.
 
Discos are set to remain closed.
 
 
The number of spectators allowed at sporting events is to remain unchanged at 1,000.
 
Safety measures on planes, trains and ships are set to remain in place, and local public transport will continue to run at 80 percent of maximum capacity.
 
Schools are expected to remain open, with rules unchanged, as the head of Italy's Higher Health Institute on Wednesday said infection rates in schools were “highly limited” and “the protocols are working”.
 
The current requirements on social distancing and regular handwashing reman unchanged.
 
People are instructed to keep a distance of one metre from others at all times, and anyone who with a temperature above 37.5 degrees Celsius is obliged to stay at home.
 
 
Tighter rules on wearing masks
 
The Italian government has already introduced rules making it obligatory to wear a mask at all times when out of the house, and introduces fines of 400-1,000 euros for anyone refusing to wear a mask when required. Previously the maximum fine was 400 euros.
 
Masks must be worn at all times when out of the house and around people you do not live with, including in workplaces. Previously there was no blanket rule on this for all workplaces.
 
The only exemptions are for children under six, people who are exercising alone, and those with certain disabilities.
 
Anyone who has tested positive for Covid-19 but doesn't follow quarantine rules could be fined a minimum of 500 euros and could even face a prison term of 3 to 18 months under the new decree, Italian media reports

 
For more information about the Covid-19 situation in Italy, see the health ministry’s website.
 
You can follow all of The Local's reporting on coronavirus in Italy here.

Member comments

  1. David, all i know is the testing of all persons arriving from the UK has already been enforce for a several days now.

  2. I will be flying to Sicily on 14th October for 4 nights from UK. I have registered, but not ‘checked in’ yet, required in Catania airport. I am wondering if I should try to obtain a private CV test in UK before depature (£150), do you think this is the best ? Or should I wait until I arrive ? Is it possible that the new decree is effective 15 or 16 Oct., so will not need to be tested, as I arrived under the ‘old’ decree ? Or will they chase me down and ask me to get a test ? Will there be quick (free?) testing in Catania airport ? Or in the city ? Or need to wait and see ? Sorry, so many questions. Please advise.

  3. Mark, you said no body seems to have an answer for you, so forgive me for stating the obvious, as I’ve no idea if you’ve already done this.
    1. Has your fiancée contacted the Italian Consulate in the Ukraine or Odesa to ask for this information?
    2. Have you been to the border yourself to see exactly what they require from people entering Italy?
    As far as I know, as long as she has a negative CV19 test, she’ll be allowed in.
    3. Contact “The Local” directly, they normally do help with these type of queries.
    Good luck.

  4. I have a specific question open to all your reader views! I cannot find any definite information on wether my fiancee will be allowed to enter Italy to be with me, she is Ukrainian from Odesa, a town and country that doesn’t get mentioned in any rule restrictions? Not EU not schengen as far as I can make out if she was to turn up in either Milan or Rome with a valid passport letter of invitation a return open ticket money in the bank a
    Cvid disclaimer a negative covid test and was picked up by me in a private car to isolate for two weeks in my house would she gain entry? The truth is no body seems have a yes or no answer I would be grateful for more input from your readers?
    Kind regards to all!

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