UPDATE: Which parts of Italy are under local lockdowns?

From 'reinforced orange' to 'mini red' zones, a growing number of Italian regions, provinces and towns are under differing rules aimed at containing the spread of coronavirus variants. Here's what you need to know.

UPDATE: Which parts of Italy are under local lockdowns?
Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP

*Please note this article is no longer being updated. For the latest reports on the coronavirus situation in Italy, please click here.*

If you thought Italy’s changing regional tiered system of red, orange, yellow and white zones was confusing, things have become more complex over the past few weeks.

The coronavirus-related rules in each region are decided under the national government’s tier system, based on the contagion risk according to weekly health data reports..

But the regional map doesn’t tell the whole story.

Many local authorities have also declared their own additional restrictions covering a single town, or a whole province within a region.

There are now dozens of so-called ‘mini red zones’ or localised lockdowns in towns or provinces that have seen a spike in cases, some linked to more infectious variants of the coronavirus first detected in the UK, Brazil and South Africa.

READ ALSO: Regional restrictions to continue as Italian PM signs new emergency decree

Some authorities are also announcing additional rules covering a whole region (on top of those imposed by the national government), such as restrictions on school openings beyond those provided under the tiered system.

This is the case in Lombardy, including Milan, which has declared itself a ‘reinforced orange zone’ from Friday March 5th. This means schools are to close, among other restrictions beyond those required under the ‘orange’ classification from the health ministry (see below for details).

The entire province of Bologna was also declared a red zone from Thursday March 4th, with schools and non-essential shops closed.

As of March 10th dozens of Italian towns or provinces are now under red zone rules, similar to those in a regional red zone.

Other areas are being declared ‘reinforced orange’ or ‘dark orange’ zones, while others have issued local ordinances closing schools.

Here’s an overview of the enhanced restrictions at the time of writing. 

Where are Italy’s local red zones?

  • Lombardy

From March 5th until March 14th, Lombardy’s “reinforced orange zone” has been extended to cover the entire region, including the city of Milan.

This means that non-essential travel is forbidden, and all schools – including elementary schools and nursery schools – are closed.

Play areas within parks are also closed, and travel to second homes is forbidden, according to an ordinance signed by the regional governor on Thursday.

Find more details on the region’s website

  • Emilia Romagna

The provinces of Bologna and Modena have been declared red zones from March 4th until March 21st, with non-essential shops now closed.

The restrictions also mean school closures for everyone from nursery children to university students. Nurseries will be closed from March 6th.

Forlì-Cesena, Ravenna and Rimini have now also been declared red zones.

Reggio Emilia is also under additional ‘dark orange’ restrictions.

Find more details on the region’s website

  • Lazio

There are four red zones in the Lazio region: the municipality of Torrice, in the province of Frosinone, Colleferro and Carpineto in the province of Rome and Roccagorga, province of Latina.

For more information, see the region’s official website

  • Bolzano (South Tyrol)

While the province is technically an orange zone, the local government has effectively upped the restrictions to red.

Bars, restaurants and most shops are are closed, as well as tourist accommodation.

The use of FFP2 masks on public transport and in shops is mandatory for everyone over 12 years of age.

Extra urgent measures were introduced on 8th March and will stay in place until 14th March. They relate to various municipalities, including Merano and Tirolo.

For more information, see the province’s official website

  • Abruzzo:

Several municipalities (towns) are red zones in the provinces of Pescara and Chieti.

Find more details on the region’s website

  • Piedmont

At the moment, there are red zones in eight municipalities, most of which are in the province of Verbano-Cusio-Ossola.

Find more details on the region’s website.

  • Tuscany

From 10th March, the comune of Viareggio has become a red zone. The entire provinces of Siena and Pistoia are red zones from Sunday March 7th. The rest of Tuscany is orange.

See the region’s website for more information

  • Liguria

A ‘dark orange’ zone has been introduced in western areas bordering France, including Sanremo.

  • Sicily

Red zones have been declared in two municipalities (towns) in the province of Palermo .

  • Marche

From Wednesday 10th March, Pesaro Urbino and Fermo enter a red zone. Ancona and Macerata also moved into a red zone in the first week of March.

See the region’s website for more information.

What are the rules in red zones?

Red zones are under a form of lockdown similar to the one declared across Italy in the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic: residents are told to stay at home except for essentials and may not travel to other towns without an urgent reason.

Residents are allowed to go out for exercise, but should do so alone and stay close to home.

Bars and restaurants are closed except for takeaway or delivery, while only essential shops and businesses can open. 

READ ALSO: Covid-19: What changes under Italy’s new March emergency decree?

Under an updated national emergency decree in force from March 6th, all schools must close in red zones.

The decree also states that hairdressers in red zones must close.

Rules under local red or orange zone restrictions can vary, and are subject to change,

Residents are advised to check for changes to local rules as well as following updates from the national government. Here’s where to find the latest updates from your local authority.

For further details on the current coronavirus situation in Italy, please see the Health Ministry’s website (in English).

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WHO expects more monkeypox-related deaths in Europe

The World Health Organization's European office said Saturday that more monkeypox-related deaths can be expected, following reports of the first fatalities outside Africa, while stressing that severe complications were still be rare.

WHO expects more monkeypox-related deaths in Europe

“With the continued spread of monkeypox in Europe, we will expect to see more deaths,” Catherine Smallwood, Senior Emergency Officer at WHO Europe, said in a statement.

Smallwood emphasised that the goal needs to be “interrupting transmission quickly in Europe and stopping this outbreak”.

However, Smallwood stressed that in most cases the disease heals itself without the need for treatment.

“The notification of deaths due to monkeypox does not change our assessment of the outbreak in Europe. We know that although self-limiting in most cases, monkeypox can cause severe complications,” Smallwood noted.

The Spanish health ministry recorded a second monkeypox-related death on Saturday, a day after Spain and Brazil reported their first fatalities.

The announcements marked what are thought to be the first deaths linked to the current outbreak outside Africa.

Spanish authorities would not give the specific cause of death for the fatalities pending the outcome of an autopsy, while Brazilian authorities underlined that the man who died had “other serious conditions”.

“The usual reasons patients might require hospital care include help in managing pain, secondary infections, and in a small number of cases the need to manage life-threatening complications such as encephalitis,” Smallwood explained.

According to the WHO, more than 18,000 cases have been detected throughout the world outside of Africa since the beginning of May, with the majority of them in Europe.

The WHO last week declared the monkeypox outbreak a global health emergency.

As cases surge globally, the WHO on Wednesday called on the group currently most affected by the virus — men who have sex with men — to limit their sexual partners.

Early signs of the disease include a high fever, swollen lymph glands and a chickenpox-like rash.

The disease usually heals by itself after two to three weeks, sometimes taking a month.

A smallpox vaccine from Danish drug maker Bavarian Nordic, marketed under the name Jynneos in the United States and Imvanex in Europe, has also been found to protect against monkeypox.