Here’s what changes about life in Italy in December 2020

Here's what changes about life in Italy in December 2020
Photo: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP
Changes to the coronavirus rules, some bank holidays, and cashback for Christmas shoppers are among the things we can expect in Italy this month.

Coronavirus rules will (hopefully) ease…

…at least in some areas. On December 4th the Italian government will bring in a new set of rules aimed at managing the coronavirus crisis. 

While the new measures have not been confirmed yet, the government has indicated that non-essential shops will be allowed to reopen in red zones, and shopping centres could reopen at weekends (they are currently closed nationwide) ahead of the holidays to allow Christmas shopping.

MAP: Which zone is your region in under Italy's tier system?

With infection rates falling in many parts of the country, it is expected that more regions currently classified as higher-risk red and orange zones will be downgraded to yellow zones, freeing residents from additional restrictions.

Italy’s nationwide 10pm curfew is expected to stay in place however, and things are not looking promising for the ski season.

See more details about Italy's planned new coronavirus measures.

Italy will announce its vaccination plan

On December 2nd, the Italian health minister Roberto Speranza is set to outline the plan for a national coronavirus vaccination programme.

The government has appointed a task force to plan how and where the first doses will be delivered when international regulators approve a successful vaccine. Here's what we know so far about Italy's vaccine strategy.

Tax returns delayed, and more aid for lockdown-hit businesses

Further help for businesses and employees is available this month under another new financial package announced on Monday.

Companies and individuals who were due to file tax returns or make payments by Monday, November 30th, now have until December 10th.

The package includes a €1,000 payment for workers in tourism, leisure and the arts, and €800 for people working in sports, as well as seasonal workers, door-to-door salespeople, and other temporary or precarious workers.
 
The payment is similar to previous emergency payments announced earlier this year.
 
 
 
A cyclist rides across Turin's Vittorio Emanuele I bridge. AFP
 
New smog limitiations arrive
 
As the weather turns cold and foggy, some northern Italian regions are implementing new measures to combat smog, including restrictions on certain types of vehicles.
 
From December 1st, there are new measures in place in Milan and other parts of the Lombardy region, as well as in Emilia-Romagna. Check your region's website for any new directives in your area.
 
We get a few bank holidays

Mark your calendars as December 8th, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, is a bank holiday in Italy.

Since it falls on a Tuesday many schools and workplaces will also close on Monday 7th, for the Ponte dell'Immacolata: the “bridge” between the holiday and the weekend.

Christmas Day, December 25th, falls on a Friday this year. meaning we all get a long weekend as the 25th is also a bank holiday in Italy.

The same goes for the weekend after. New Year's Eve will be on a Thursday, meaning January 1st is a Friday – so those who enjoy an extra glass of wine on the big day will have a whole weekend to recover from the headache.

You can claim cashback on your Christmas shopping

As part of its set of measures aimed at encouraging more electronic and online payments, the Italian government has announced a “Christmas shopping refund” programme. 

From next week, those who pay via cards or apps will be entitled to a 10 percent refund, up to a value of 150 euros, on purchases made in shops this December.

To be eligible you must be an Italian resident, over 18, and registered using the government’s “Io” app.

Some will get an extra month's salary

The rumour you've heard about Italian employees getting a thirteenth monthly salary at Christmas? It's true – at least for many state employees. The tredicesima, or “thirteenth”, really is an extra month's wage. The bonus was introduced under Mussolini's regime, and unsurprisingly there hasn't been much interest in abolishing it.

Brexit transition period ends

This is a big one for British nationals living in Italy. December 31st will mark the end of the Brexit transition period, which means a series of changes will enter into effect on key areas such as residency, healthcare and travel.

See our Dealing with Brexit section for further updates.


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