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HEALTH

At a glance: What are the coronavirus rules in my region of Italy now?

As Italy continues to update its coronavirus rules, here's our constantly updated guide to bookmark on exactly what you and and can’t do in the country these days.

At a glance: What are the coronavirus rules in my region of Italy now?
Cycling in Turin, where coronavirus restrictions have just been relaxed. Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP

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This article was last updated on November 30th.

Under Italy's latest emergency decree, the Italian goverment tightened the coronavirus rules for the fourth time in three weeks in response to the country's worsening coronavirus situation.

As well as introducing a nationwide curfew, the government announced a new national three-tier framework which means certain rules now differ based on where you are in Italy.

READ ALSO:  The form you need to go out at night under Italy's national curfew

The first rules came into force on Friday November 6th and have been updated several times since, most recently on Sunday, November 29th.

The following measures, contained in the official text of the latest emergency decree, apply across the whole country until at least December 3rd.

Evening curfew
 
Under the new decree, Italy declared a nationwide curfew between 10pm and 5am.
 
This means you must stay indoors unless you can prove you need to leave the house for work or health-related reasons. In that case, you'll need to take a copy of the self-certification form with you.
 
Museums and galleries must close, and shopping centres are shut at weekends.
 
Bars and restaurants are closed at all times in high-risk areas, though delivery service is allowed and takeaway is also permitted until curfew begins at 10pm.
 
Bars and restaurants were already closed to the public at 6pm nationwide under measures introduced in October.
 
Photo: AFP
 

The number of passengers on public transport has been cut from 80 percent to 50 percent, with the exception of school transport.
 
People are asked to only use public transport if is absolutely necessary or for work.
 
Public agencies and private firms have been told to allow employees to work remotely as much as possible.

 
Further restrictions in red and orange zones

In addition to the national rules above, the new regional tier system means red, orange and yellow zones have differing restrictions.

From Sunday November 29th, the regions are classified as follows:

Red (high risk) zones: Abruzzo, Campania, Tuscany, Valle d'Aosta, autonomous province of Bolzano (also known as Alto Adige/South Tyrol).

Orange (medium-high risk) zones: Basilicata, Calabria, Emilia-Romagna, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Lombardy, Marche, Piedmont, Puglia, Umbria.

Yellow (moderate risk) zones: Lazio, Liguria, Molise, Sardinia, Sicily, Veneto, autonomous province of Trento (also known as Trentino). 

If a region is currently an orange zone, the national rules apply, plus:
  • Travel restrictions
People in orange zones are not allowed to travel from one area to another unless for essential reasons, according to the decree text, by either public or private transport.
 
You can enter or leave an orange or red zone only for reasons of work, study, health or emergency, which must be justified using a self-certification form.
  • Business closures
Bars, cafes, restaurants, pastry shops and other food businesses must close to the public.
 
Home delivery is still allowed, and takeaway is permitted until curfew at 10pm.
 
Shops including hairdressers and bookshops remain open.
 
 
In the higher-risk red zones the national and orange zone rules apply, plus:
  • Travel restrictions
In addition to not being allowed to travel from one municipality to another, people in red zones are not allowed to move around within their own area unless for essential reasons, by either public or private transport.
 
If you need to leave your home for work, study, health or emergency reasons these must be justified using a self-certification form.
 
You can only enter or leave an orange or red zone for the same urgent reasons.
  • Business closures
In addition to bars, cafes, restaurants, pastry shops and other catering businesses being closed to the public, as in orange zones, shops are closed except for those deemed essential, which include supermarkets and other food shops, tabacchi, bookshops and stationary shops.
 
Hairdressers and beauticians can also remain open.
  • Some schools closed 
Distance learning is mandatory for the second grade of middle school (scuola media) and upwards in red zone areas, and for high schools everywhere else.
 
Infant and primary schools (scuola dell’infanzia, scuola primaria) may remain open for in-person teaching across the country, including in red zone areas, the decree states.

  • No sports
All sports activities are suspended but “motor activity” (solo exercise such as running or jogging) is allowed, the decree states.

 
Regional and city authorities may also put their own additional measures in place in response to the situation locally.
 
 
Many other rules, which have now been in place across Italy for months, remain in place under the latest decree.
 
Cinemas, theatres, gyms and fitness centres were shut down by a previous decree on October 24th. 
 
Betting shops, bingo halls and arcades are also closed, and slot machines in bars and other businesses cannot be used.
 
 
Photo: AFP
 
Face masks remain mandatory in public
 
Wearing a mask in Italy is obligatory whenever you leave your home, at all times of the day and in all parts of the country, under rules introduced on October 7th.
 
The fines for refusing to wear a mask are currently between €400 and €1,000, with police patrols deployed to check that people are complying.
 
The requirements on social distancing and regular handwashing and sanitising also remain in place.
 
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.
 

 
International travel restrictions remain in place
 
The rules on travelling to Italy remain unchanged under the latest emergency decree.
 
Unrestricted travel is still permitted from most EU countries as well as Schengen zone countries.
 
Travellers are still divided into six categories with different rules applicable, depending on the country they are travelling from.
 
Mandatory testing for some travellers

Travellers from several other European countries including the UK are required to take a test on or before arrival in Italy.

Travellers can either get tested before their journey – both the PCR nasal swab and the finger-prick tests are accepted, so long as they're carried out no more than 72 hours before your journey – or within 48 hours of arriving.

Local travel rules and testing procedures can also vary by region.
Rules are subject to change at any time in any of these 20 regions, as well as in Italian cities under municipal rules.
 
For this reason you should check the rules with the local authorities in your city and region, and in any city or region you plan to visit.
 
See the Italian health ministry's website for more information on the current public health measures.

Member comments

  1. I have lived in Piemonte for nearly 10 years. I have sold my house and the move out date is March 30th. I would like to move to Sardinia, but although I have arranged for my furniture etc to be packed and taken into store, am I able to travel to Sardinia to find a suitable house, for at the moment, when I leave at the end of March, I have nowhere to live? Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks

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HEALTH

Q&A: What you need to know about Italy’s West Nile virus outbreak

As Italy records a surge in cases of West Nile fever, we look at what the disease is and where in the country it's spreading.

Q&A: What you need to know about Italy's West Nile virus outbreak

Mosquitos are unfortunately one downside of summer in Italy. But as well as being a nuisance, they may also pose a health risk in the country – one of the few in Europe to record cases of West Nile virus (WNV)

READ ALSO: Cases of West Nile fever surge in northern Italy

Last week Italy recorded 50 more cases of the mosquito-borne virus, bringing the total number of infections to 144 according to the latest report from Italy’s Higher Health Institute (ISS).

This marked a 53-percent increase in cases against the previous week, while ten people have died so far.

As the number of infections continues to rise, here are the answers to the most pressing questions about the disease and the outbreak in Italy.

What is it?

The West Nile Virus (WNV) is a single-stranded RNA virus that can cause West Nile fever in humans.

It’s a member of the Flavivirus family together with other endemic viruses such as the Zika and Dengue viruses.

The virus was first identified in 1937 in Uganda’s West Nile district but has since spread to many other parts of the world, to the point that it is now considered indigenous to Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Australia. 

Carried by birds, West Nile virus is transmitted to humans by mosquitoes.

The West Nile virus is primarily transmitted by mosquitoes of the Culex species, which infect humans and other mammals through their bite, according to Italy’s health ministry.

There is no evidence that human-to-human transmission is possible.

Where are cases being reported in Italy?

Infections have been largely concentrated in the north of the country, especially in the Veneto region, where six people have now died of the disease. Other deaths were recorded in Lombardy, Piedmont and Emilia-Romagna.

The city of Padua, which is located in Veneto’s mainland, around 35 kilometres away from the Adriatic coast, is currently regarded as the hotspot of the virus. 

It isn’t yet clear why Veneto has been the worst-hit region so far, but experts fear that its marshy lowlands might be the perfect breeding ground for disease-carrying mosquitoes. 

A mosquito of the Culex species viewed under a microscope.

Mosquitoes of the Culex species, a specimen of which is pictured above, are responsible for transmitting the West Nile Virus to humans and other mammals. Photo by Jon CHERRY Getty Images / AFP

How severe is the outbreak in Italy?

West Nile virus is not new to Italy. However, this summer has brought the highest number of cases recorded yet.

National infection levels remain relatively low but the country has by far the largest number of cases in Europe.

According to the most recent report from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), dated August 3rd, 94 out of 120 recorded cases were in Italy.

Greece had 23 reported cases. Romania and Slovakia had two and one respectively. 

Italy is the only European country that has reported fatalities.

What are the symptoms?

According to the Italian Higher Health Institute (ISS), around 80 percent of infected people show no symptoms whatsoever.

In symptomatic cases, however, symptoms generally resemble those of a common flu and include fever, headaches, nausea and diarrhoea. 

The infection is usually only dangerous for people with weakened immune systems such as the elderly, and the most severe symptoms occur in fewer than one percent of infected people.

In healthy people, the virus is unlikely to cause more than a headache or sore throat, and symptoms generally last only a few days.

According to the data currently available, around one in 150 infected people can show symptoms as serious as partial vision loss, convulsions and paralysis. 

In very rare cases (around 0.1 percent, or one in 1000) the disease can cause brain infections (encephalitis or meningitis) which may eventually be fatal.

Brazilian biologists handle mosquito larvae.

There is currently no vaccine against West Nile disease, though several are being tested. Photo by Apu GOMES / AFP

Is there a cure?

There is no vaccine against West Nile fever. “Currently vaccines are being studied, but for the moment prevention consists mainly in reducing exposure to mosquito bites,” the ISS states.

There is also no specific treatment for the disease caused by the virus.

Patients showing the more serious symptoms are usually admitted to hospital and treated with IV fluids and assisted ventilation.

What should you do to protect yourself?

Seeing as there is currently no vaccine against the virus, the best way to protect oneself is by reducing exposure to mosquitoes as much as possible.

Italian health authorities have listed a number of official recommendations to help residents avoid mosquito bites. These include: 

  • Use repellent
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long trousers when being outdoors and especially during ​​mosquitoes’ peak activity times, i.e. sunrise and sunset
  • Use mosquito nets on your windows or sleep in rooms with air-conditioning and keep the windows closed
  • Make sure there are no pools of stagnant water around your house

See more information about West Nile virus in Italy on the health ministry’s website.

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