What are the rules in Italy's Covid-19 'orange zones'?

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What are the rules in Italy's Covid-19 'orange zones'?
Staff of a coffe-restaurant, brings coffees for customers, in Piazza della Rotonda at the Pantheon, in central Rome, on March 15, 2021, as three-quarters of Italians entered a strict lockdown as the government put in place restrictive measures to fight the rise of COVID-19 infections. (Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP)

Italy's orange zones aren't in full lockdown, but the rules remain strict. Here's what you need to know if your region is one of them.


All but three of Italy’s 20 regions are currently medium-high risk zone arancione (orange zones) under the latest update to the regional rules, effective from April 19th.

MAP: Which zone is your region in under Italy’s lockdown?

Here are the key things to know if your region is one of them.


How and when are the zones decided?

The Italian health ministry bases its decision on a weekly report from the country's top health institute, which analyses the latest incidence rate, transmission numbers, hospital occupancy and other factors to assess the risk level in each region.

The data is announced every Friday afternoon, with rule changes taking effect from Monday morning. 

Once a region is declared an orange zone, it usually remains one for at least two weeks.

Exceptionally, all of Italy will become a red zone over the Easter weekend from April 3rd to 5th.

What are the rules in orange zones?

You can circulate freely within your municipality (town), but it is forbidden to move between municipalities except for essential reasons.

If you leave your municipality, you must complete a self-declaration form justifying your journey.

There is an exception for residents of small towns (5,000 inhabitants or fewer), who are allowed to travel freely to other municipalities within a 30km radius, so long as they avoid the provincial capital.

Schools remain open, with partial distance learning for older pupils, but local authorities can order schools to close and move learning online.

Checking pupils' temperature at the school gates. Photo by Marco Bertorello / AFP

Bars, cafes, restaurants, pastry shops and other food businesses are closed. Home delivery is still allowed, and takeaway is permitted until 10pm.

Museums, galleries, cinemas, theatres and concert halls are closed.

Gyms are closed and contact sports are forbidden. But you can continue to exercise outdoors, with social distancing. 

All shops can remain open, along with hairdressers and beauticians.

Religious services can continue to take place, with social distancing and other precautions.

Travel to a second home (including in a different town or region) is allowed only if you can prove you owned or rented the property before January 14th 2021, and if no one else lives there. This means new short-term rentals are not permitted, and you can’t stay with relatives.

You can visit family and friends who live in the same town once a day, between the hours of 5am to 10pm. No more than two adults, plus children under 14, should go at once.

Visiting the homes of family and friends outside your municipality is not allowed.


Are there any other rules to know about?

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

Face masks are compulsory in all public spaces, both indoors and outdoors. 

Individual regions, provinces or municipalities may also set their own restrictions on top of the standard rules. Check your regione or comune‘s official website for the latest updates in your area: find where to look 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).


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