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

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What are the rules in Italy's Covid-19 'red zones'?
A picture taken on March 15, 2021 shows a woman wearing a protective mask walking along an empty street in the "Citta Alta" of Bergamo 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 Miguel MEDINA / AFP)

Red zones are the areas classed as the highest coronavirus risk, and as a result they're subject to Italy's toughest coronavirus restrictions. Here's a breakdown of the rules.


Just over half of Italy's 20 regions are currently zone rosse (red zones) under the latest update to the regional rules, effective from March 29th.

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?

Every region with more than 250 cases per 100,000 inhabitants over the past week automatically becomes a red zone. 

The official health data on which the classification is based is announced every Friday afternoon, with rule changes taking effect from Monday morning. 

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

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

What are the rules in red zones?

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

People in red zones are not allowed to move around within their own area unless for essential reasons, by either public or private transport.

READ ALSO: Life under Italy’s new lockdown: What’s the difference this time around?

Visits to relatives and friends are not allowed, even within your own municipality. You cannot travel to any private home other than your own, unless it's for an urgent reason like assisting someone who can't look after themselves.

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

All schools and universities in red zones are closed. 

Bars and restaurants cannot serve customers on the premises, but are permitted to offer takeaway (until 10pm) or home delivery (round the clock). 

A man closes his ice cream parlour in Rome. Photo: Alberto Pizzoli / AFP

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

Gyms, hairdressers and beauty salons are closed, as are museums, cinemas, theatres and concert halls.

All team sports are suspended, though solo exercise, such as running or cycling, is allowed.

You can take walks, but you have to stay within your own neighbourhood. Parks can remain open unless local authorities decide otherwise.

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

READ ALSO: What can you do this Easter under Italy’s lockdown?

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.

The rules on socializing in red zones will be relaxed over Easter, the government has confirmed: between April 3rd-5th you can move within your region to visit friends and relatives, once a day and between the hours of 5am and 10pm. No more than two adults, plus children under 14, should travel together.


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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Anonymous 2021/03/22 13:26
How long is the travel ban set to last?

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