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HEALTH

What you need to know about travelling within Italy right now

In addition to international travel restrictions, there are new limits on where you can go within Italy right now - but they vary depending on region and time of day.

What you need to know about travelling within Italy right now
Roads in central Milan were unusually quiet on Saturday after new restrictions came in. Photo: AFP

Italy's current coronavirus rules include restrictions on movement within the country.

The whole country is under a nighttime curfew from 10pm-5am, and this means no unnecessary travel is permitted during those hours.

 
If you need to go out during curfew hours, for example to go to work, you can. But you'll have to justify your reasons for doing so using a self-certification form. The form is only available in Italian and must be completed in Italian – see our guide to downloading and completing it here.
 
 
Other rules however vary depending on where in Italy you are, due to a new three-tier system based on the local coronavirus situation in each of the 20 regions.
 
The current rules came into effect on November 6th, and the classification has already been updated twice since then.

The regions are divided as follows, as of November 13th:

 
 
What are the travel restrictions?
 
People in the highest-risk red and orange zones are told to stay within their comune, or municipality, and are only allowed to leave for work, study, health or other essential reasons, as Italy brings in the strictest measures since its two-month spring lockdown was eased.

In red zones, restrictions on movement resemble those imposed earlier this year during a severe national lockdown, with residents' movements curtailed further.

READ ALSO: How Italy decides which regions are Covid-19 red zones

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, using either public or private transport.

If you need to go out for work, health or other essential reasons these must be justified using a self-certification form
 
Can I travel between regions?
 
You can only enter or leave an orange or red zone for urgent reasons.
 
This means residents in a yellow zone would not be allowed to enter a red zone region without a proven need to do so, and vice versa.
 
The rules also forbid non-essential travel between provinces or comunes within red and orange-zone regions.
 
 
Just as during phase one of Italy's emergency, you're allowed to travel between regions or municipalities for work, health reasons or other emergencies.

What counts as an urgent reason for travel?

The decree states that people can travel for “proven work or health reasons and situations of urgency.”

So if you have a medical appointment or need to be somewhere for work or business, you're allowed to travel.

If you work in one region and live in another, you are allowed to travel between them.

Travel to and from school to drop off and pick up your child is of course allowed.

And if you're currently in a different part of Italy than the area where you are registered as a permanent resident, you are of course allowed to travel home.

If you're in Italy at the moment and need to leave the country for an urgent reason, this will be permitted, whether or not you are a resident.

However for all of the above trips you'll need to fill out a self-certification form.and be able to provide proof, as police may check your story.

What exactly counts as an emergency or a “situation of need” can in some cases be open to interpretation by local authorities.

If  in doubt, contact your local comune or caribinieri police station before you leave.

Can I stop along the way?

If your drive is a long one and you'd usually make one or two overnight stops within Italy, there is nothing in the emergency decree which expressly states that this isn't allowed – and hotels can remain open everywhere, including in red zones.

There are limits on entering and leaving both orange and red zones for non-essential reasons, however, and you would need to complete a self-certification form and be prepared to explain your stop if you encounter a police check.

Every region and city has its own rules and restrictions in place, so you'll need to check the local rules if planning to stop somewhere.

Can I enter or leave the country?

Returning home is a valid reason for travel, whether you're returning to Italy or leaving Italy for another country.

Italian citizens and residents have the right to enter the country under current travel rules. However, there may be some measures such as mandatory testing depending on where you're travelling from.

You can also travel if you need to leave the country.

Whether you've been staying at your second home, or your visa is about to expire, if you need to leave Italy to get home this counts as an essential reason for travelling.
 
If you're driving, motorways and service stations are open as usual and there is no restriction on passing through a red zone such as Lombardy (as long as you're not stopping).
 
You will need to fill out a self-certification form explaining your reason for travel in case you encounter a police checkpoint. It's the same form you need when going outside under curfew. It's only available in Italian, but here's where to get it and how to fill it out.
 
For more travel information consult your embassy or see the Italian government's Viaggiare Sicuri website.

Can I use public transport?

Yes. Public transport is still running. However, it's limited to 50 percent of maximum capacity (with the exception of school transport.)

People have also been asked to avoid using public transport however unless absolutely necessary, for example to get to work.
 
For more information please see the Italian Health Ministry's website (in English).
 
Find all of The Local's latest coronavirus updates here.
 

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STRIKES

Calendar: The transport strikes to expect in Italy this February

Travellers are once again set to face serious disruption as Italy will experience a new round of transport strikes in February. Here's what you can expect in the coming weeks.

Calendar: The transport strikes to expect in Italy this February

Travel to, from and across Italy was disrupted by dozens of strikes in January

And, while many travellers might have hoped for a change in the trend, strikes are set to continue into February as Italian unions have already announced a further round of demonstrations affecting rail and public transport services as well as airline travel.

Here’s an overview of February’s main strike actions, including a national public transport strike on Friday, February 17th and another nationwide walkout from airport ground staff on Tuesday, February 28th.

Public transport

February 17th: Public transport staff will take part in a national 24-hour strike on Friday, February 17th. 

The strike was called in late January by Italian union USB (Unione Sindacale di Base) to protest against precarious work and “wild privatisation” attempts on the part of the Italian state.

READ ALSO: Should you travel in Italy when there’s a strike on?

There currently aren’t any details as to what percentage of workers will take part in the action. As such, the amount of disruption travellers should expect on the day cannot be estimated yet. 

Air travel

February 12th: Air traffic control staff at Perugia’s San Francesco d’Assisi airport will take part in a 24-hour strike action on Sunday, February 12th. 

It isn’t yet clear how the walkout in question will affect air travel to and from the airport on the day.

Travellers at an Italian airport

A national strike from ground service staff may cause delays and queues at many Italian airports on Tuesday, February 28th. Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP

February 28th: Baggage handlers and other airport ground service staff will take part in a national 24-hour strike on Tuesday, February 28th. 

It isn’t yet clear how the strike will affect air travel during the day, though a similar demonstration caused significant delays and queues at some Italian airports in late January.

ENAV air traffic operators based in Calabria are also expected to strike on February 28th, with the walkout set to start at 1pm and end at 5pm.

Rail

February 5th-6th: Calabria-based Trenitalia staff will strike from 9pm on Sunday, February 5th to 9pm the following day. 

A list of guaranteed services in the region is available here.

February 9th: Staff from Lombardy’s Trenord will take part in a 22-hour strike – from 2am to 11.50pm – on Thursday, February 9th.

Empty train platform in Codogno, Lombardy

Staff from Lombardy’s regional railway operator Trenord will strike for 22 hours on Thursday, February 9th. Photo by Miguel MEDINA / AFP

It’s currently unclear whether Trenord will operate minimum services on the day. Any information regarding the strike will be released on the following website page

February 12th-13th: Trenitalia staff in Emilia-Romagna will strike from 3.30am on Sunday, February 12th to 2.30am on Monday, February 13th.

A list of guaranteed services in the region is available here.

February 19th: Veneto-based Trenitalia staff will strike from 9am to 5pm on Sunday, February 19th. 

Guaranteed services are available here.

On the same day, there will be no service between Milan’s Milano Centrale station and Paris’s Gare de Lyon due to a strike from staff at France’s national railway company SNCF.

READ ALSO: Trains and planes: Italy’s new international travel routes in 2023

February 20th: Trenitalia personnel in Lombardy are expected to strike from 9am to 5pm on Monday, February 20th. 

Guaranteed services haven’t been made available yet. 

You can keep up to date with the latest strike news from Italy HERE.

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