EXPLAINED: What are the Italian lockdown rules in your region?

Italy has imposed tough new restrictions for most of the country, as a 'third wave' of infections takes hold. Here's how it affects you in your region.

EXPLAINED: What are the Italian lockdown rules in your region?
Photo by Alberto Pizzoli/AFP

From Monday, schools, restaurants, shops and museums shut down as most of Italy becomes a ‘red’ or an ‘orange’ zone.

READ ALSO: Italy placed under new lockdown as Covid ‘third wave’ takes hold

Every region with more than 250 cases per 100,000 inhabitants (according to official weekly health data) were automatically placed in the highest-risk red zone, a spokesman for Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s office said.

Most of the country turns red from Monday. There are seven regions under slightly less stringent orange zone restrictions, while Sardinia is the only low-risk ‘white zone’.

The new restrictions are in place until Easter, when the whole nation will be placed in a ‘red’ zone over the weekend of April 3-5, government officials have confirmed.

The Easter restrictions will not apply in white zones, the prime minister’s office confirmed on Friday.

EXPLAINED: What are Italy’s new coronavirus ‘white zones’?

The regional classifications from Monday are as follows:

Red zone: Trentino-Alto Adige/South Tyrol, Campania, Emilia Romagna, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Lazio, Lombardy, Marche, Molise, Piedmont, Puglia, Veneto, Basilicata.

Orange zone: Abruzzo, Calabria, Liguria, Sicily, Umbria, Tuscany and Valle d’Aosta.

A 10pm-5am curfew remains in place nationwide, and all non-essential travel between regions is banned.

Public transport is still running, including long-distance trains, though some routes may be suspended or operating on reduced schedules. Check with your transport provider for details before departing.

Here’s a look at how the rules differ between red and orange zones, according to the government’s latest decree released on March 13th. You can find the full text here (in Italian).

What are the rules in orange zones?

In orange zones, you can only travel within your municipality (town) and it is forbidden to move between municipalities unless for essential reasons.

If you leave your municipality, or travel within it during the 10pm-5am curfew, you must complete a self-declaration form justifying your movements.

Bars, cafes, restaurants, pastry shops and other food businesses are closed.

Home delivery is still allowed, and takeaway is permitted until curfew at 10pm.

Museums and art galleries are closed.

All shops can remain open.

Hairdressers and beauticians can remain open.

Visits to the homes of family and friends outside your municipality are not allowed.

You can visit a second home within your region.

Schools remain open, but local authorities can order schools to close and to move learning online.

Photo by Filippo MONTEFORTE/AFP

Red zones:

Some local red zones have been previously enforced in towns and provinces. Now, this may extend from a province to the entire surrounding region, For example, Bologna’s red zone will now expand to the whole of Emilia Romagna.

In addition to not being allowed to travel from one municipality to another, people in red zones are not allowed to move around within their own area unless for essential reasons, by either public or private transport.

You must justify any movements, including within your own municipality, using a self-declaration form.

You can only enter or leave an orange or red zone for urgent reasons, such as for work or health.

You cannot travel to any private home other than your own.

All schools in red zones are closed. Authorities may choose to enforce additional closures in orange zones.

Shops are closed except for those deemed essential, which include supermarkets and other food shops, tabacchi (tobacconists/newsagents), and pharmacies. Childrens’ clothes shops are also open.

Hairdressers and beauticians are closed.

All team sports activities are suspended (solo exercise such as running or walking is allowed).

Travel to a second home is allowed only if you can prove you had the right to enter the property (as owner or tenant) before January 14th 2021. This means new short-term rentals are not allowed, and you can’t stay with relatives. “The house of destination must not be inhabited by people not belonging to the family unit”, according to the health ministry. 

Visits to relatives and friends are not allowed, even within your own municipality,

Exceptions to this rules are made for Easter in red zones. You can move within the region between 5am and 10pm to visit friends and relatives, once a day. A maximum of two people, plus children under 14, are allowed to move in this way from April 3-5, the Italian health ministry confirmed in a statement.

The health ministry notes that individual regions or provinces may set their own additional restricions on top of these national rules, and the details can be found on your local authority’s website.

Find out where to get the latest information for your local area here.

Please note The Local is not able to advise on specific situations.  For more information on the restrictions please see the Italian Health Ministry’s website (in English).

Member comments

  1. They may be able to control the virus this way…they MAY…but the long term adverse impact on mental health and the decline in scholastic aptitude will be incalculable and last for decades. Needless to say, Italy’s precious remaining WWII memories will disappear into thin air. So sad how disastrous Italy has handled this.

      1. First person accounts. That generation is dying out…Covid has increased the rate both directly and indirectly. There are so many memories that have not been recorded.

    1. So easy for you to say “how disastrous Italy has handled this” and how wrong. The government has worked hard to follow most current science, while being true to democratic institutions, and mostly wisely erring on the side of caution. The people of Italy as a whole have handled this admirably, with determination and no small amount of warmth, generosity and humor. There are always those who have no active public life who take potshots from the sidelines at those who are actually in the game, who are trying their best to do something to mitigate effects of a bad situation. Perhaps excuse them for their less then godlike ability.

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Italy’s deputy health minister under fire after casting doubt on Covid vaccines

Opposition leaders called for health undersecretary Marcello Gemmato to resign on Tuesday after the official said he was not "for or against" vaccines.

Italy's deputy health minister under fire after casting doubt on Covid vaccines

Gemmato, a pharmacist and member of Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s far-right Brothers of Italy party, made the remark during an appearance on the political talkshow ReStart on Rai 2 on Monday evening.

READ ALSO: Covid vaccines halved Italy’s death toll, study finds

In a widely-shared clip, the official criticises the previous government’s approach to the Covid pandemic, claiming that for a large part of the crisis Italy had the highest death rate and third highest ‘lethality’ rate (the proportion of Covid patients who died of the disease).

When journalist Aldo Cazzullo interjects to ask whether the toll would have been higher without vaccines, Gemmato responds: “that’s what you say,” and claimed: “We do not have the reverse burden of proof.”

The undersecretary goes on to say that he won’t “fall into the trap of taking a side for or against vaccines”.

After Gemmato’s comments, the president of Italy’s National Federation of Medical Guilds, Filippo Anelli, stressed that official figures showed the Italian vaccination campaign had already prevented some 150,000 deaths, slashing the country’s potential death toll by almost half.

Vaccines also prevented eight million cases of Covid-19, over 500,000 hospitalisations, and more than 55,000 admissions to intensive care, according to a report from Italy’s national health institute (ISS) in April 2021.

Gemmato’s comments provoked calls for him to step down, including from the head of the centre-left Democratic Party, Enrico Letta.

“A health undersecretary who doesn’t take his distance from no-vaxxers is certainly in the wrong job” wrote the leader of the centrist party Action, Carlo Calenda, on Twitter.

Infectious disease expert Matteo Bassetti of Genoa’s San Martino clinic also expressed shock.

“How is it possible to say that there is no scientific proof that vaccines have helped save the lives of millions of people? You just have to read the scientific literature,” Bassetti tweeted. 

In response to the backlash, Gemmato on Tuesday put out a statement saying he believes “vaccines are precious weapons against Covid” and claiming that his words were taken out of context and misused against him.

The Brothers of Italy party was harshly critical of the previous government’s approach to handling the Covid crisis, accusing the former government of using the pandemic as an excuse to “limit freedom” through its use of the ‘green pass’, a proof of vaccination required to access public spaces. 

But since coming into power, Meloni appears to have significantly softened her stance.

Her appointee for health minister, Orazio Schillaci, is a medical doctor who formed part of the team advising the Draghi administration on its handling of the pandemic.

Schillaci, a former dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery at Rome’s Tor Vergata University, has described the former government’s green pass scheme as an “indispensable tool for guaranteeing safety in university classrooms”.

Speaking at a session of the G20 on Tuesday, Meloni referenced the role of vaccines in bringing an end to the Covid pandemic.

“Thanks to the extraordinary work of health personnel, vaccines, prevention, and the accountability of citizens, life has gradually returned to normal,’ the prime minister said in a speech.