The latest rules, which came into force on Friday, include a nationwide curfew and three-tiered system of rules aimed at stopping the spread of the coronavirus.
At this time of year, many in Italy are left wondering what this means for the olive harvest.
Farmers and agricultural workers don't face any restrictions. Just as during the first lockdown, they can continue to work as long as they follow the rules on self-certification (in red and orange areas), use of masks, social distancing, and sanitation.
But what about those who are not farmers, but harvest olives to make oil for their own use? What if you usually help family or friends with their harvest? Can you still go to the fields – and the mill?
In these cases the rules are not as clear-cut.
Red and orange zones
The main factors to consider are which region you're in, and how far you'd need to travel for the harvest.
If both you and the olive grove are in a yellow zone, you won't face any restrictions. However. you can't travel from a yellow zone to an orange or red zone.
If you're in an orange zone, you must stay within your region other than for essential reasons, such as for work.
In red zones, you must stay within your own comune.
Does the olive harvest count as an essential reason for travel?
The government has not issued any official guidance on this at the time of writing.
However, agricultural news website Agricultura.it writes: “To justify moving from home to the olive grove for work reasons, you need a VAT number. But in the case of necessary and non-postponable agricultural practices, such as olive harvesting, even if it is for personal consumption, we believe that it could fall within the reasons justified by the self-declaration form.”
File photo: AFP
While it seems that travelling to your own land in another comune could be allowed, whether or not you're allowed to go and help family or friends with their olive harvest seems to be a grey area.
If their olive grove is close by, this is unlikely to be a problem – though of course the rules on social distancing, use of masks, and avoiding gatherings would apply.
As rules can vary by municipality, you are advised to check wih your local police or prefettura for clarification.
Can I visit the olive mill?
While it's easy enough to follow social distancing measures in an olive grove, what about taking your harvest to the frantoio, or mill, to be pressed?
“Since there is no specific legislation in the case of olive harvesting, we can interpret the government's rules concerning the possibility of shopping in areas different from the one in which we live: In practice, this is possible if you require goods or services not found in your own municipality,” Agricultura.it writes.
As with all the restrictions in Italy, you should check the local rules in your region. Find out where and how to do that in a separate article here.