Coronavirus: Italy goes back under regional tier system

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Coronavirus: Italy goes back under regional tier system
Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP

After weeks of nationwide restrictions, Italy has returned to its tiered system of red, orange and yellow coronavirus restrictions meaning rules again vary by region. Here's what you need to know.


Over Christmas, New Year and Epiphany, Italian authorities implemented sweeping national measures aimed at containing the spread of the coronavirus. The nationwide rules were then extended last week. 

READ ALSO: What are Italy's coronavirus rules in January?

Strict orange zone restrictions were in place across the country over the weekend, with travel between towns limited to essential trips, and bars and restaurants only allowed to serve takeaway.

But from Monday January 11th, the country is back under its previous system of red, orange and yellow zones.

Most of the country is now classed as a yellow zone.


The regions of Calabria, Emilia Romagna, Lombardy, Sicily and Veneto became orange zones, Health Minister Roberto Speranza announced on Friday after reviewing the latest data from Italy's Higher Health Institute (ISS).

No regions are currently under 'red zone' restrictions.

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

This is despite the worrying health data released on Friday, which showed the Rt (reproduction rate) has risen above 1 for the first time in six weeks. According to the ISS, almost every region of Italy should be classed as either high or medium risk.

While most regions will return to yellow zone rules from Monday, Calabria, Emilia Romagna, Lombardy, Sicily and Veneto will remain orange zones until at least January 15th, when the prime minister is due to announce a new emergency decree replacing or extending Italy's current set of coronavirus rules.

What are the rules?
The following measures are contained in the official text of the most recent emergency decree, signed on December 3rd. They will apply nationwide until at least January 15th.
  • Evening curfew between 10pm and 5am
  • Shopping centres closed at weekends
  • Museums and galleries closed

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

Yellow zones do not face any additional restrictions beyond the national ones.

In red and orange zones, the main differences are as follows:
Orange zones:
All the national rules will apply, plus:
  • Travel restrictions
People in orange zones will not be allowed to travel from one municipality to another, unless for essential reasons, 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 will remain open.

For more information please see the Italian Health Ministry's website (in English).


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