On February 1st, Italy relaxed coronavirus restrictions in most regions, moving them from the “orange zone” to the less restrictive “yellow zone”, under the national colour-coded system that indicates risk and restrictions in place.
The national R rate, or reproduction rate, is stable at 0.84 compared to last week.
However, Health Minister Roberto Speranza stressed caution across the country. “We must not undermine the progress of the last few weeks, the result of the sacrifices we have made. The yellow zone does not mean we are out of danger,” he tweeted, adding that “we must not play with fire”.
The “yellow zone” applies to areas with moderate risk, where only national restrictions apply. It allows for daytime reopening (until 6pm) of bars and restaurants, opening of museums on weekdays, and greater freedom to travel within the region.
From Monday 8th, the autonomous province of Bolzano (also known as Alto Adige or South Tyrol) will be put under a strict lockdown for three weeks until February 28th due to the detection of the UK coronavirus variant and a high infection rate.
While the province was classed as orange under the national government's latest review of health data, the local government has ordered shops and schools to close and residents to remain at home except for essential reasons.
The regions of Puglia, Sicily and Umbria are also orange zones, though several municipalities within Umbria have been declared local red zones.
Sardinia, which had been orange, will be moved back to a yellow zone.
From Monday, February 8th, Italy's regions are classified as follows:
Red zones: none.
Orange zones: autonomous province of Bolzano, Puglia, Sicily, Umbria.
Yellow zones: Abruzzo, Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Emilia Romagna, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Lazio, Liguria, Lombardy, Marche, Molise, Piedmont, autonomous province of Trento, Sardinia, Tuscany, Valle d'Aosta, Veneto.
White zone: none.
Italy reported 385 coronavirus-related deaths on Saturday, up from 377 the day before, the health ministry said.
Please be aware that local authorities may impose additional restrictions on hotspots within each region. Always check the latest rules for your province or municipality via its official website: find where to look here.