Italy to remain in partial lockdown until end of April

Coronavirus restrictions in most of Italy that closed restaurants, shops and museums through Easter will be extended throughout April, the government said on Wednesday, with all the country's regions either 'red' or 'orange' zones.

Italy to remain in partial lockdown until end of April
Italy's regions will remain under tightened restrictions throughout April. Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP

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But the government reserves the right to review the rules again before April 30th, not ruling out “an easing of measures” if the latest health data warrants it, according to the latest emergency decree approved late on Wednesday by the government of Prime Minister Mario Draghi.

The new decree, which is due to replace the one currently in force until April 6th, largely extends the measures already in place – notably the system of tiered restrictions based on an assessment of the Covid-19 risk in each region of Italy.

Between April 7th and April 30th all of Italy’s regions will be considered either red or orange zones, the two highest-risk categories, the government said.

That means no travel between towns or regions, no dining in restaurants or bars, and no museums reopening for at least another month.


However, after Easter schools will be allowed to reopen up to the first year of secondary school (prima media), even in red zones, in an easing of the restrictions on the highest-risk areas. 

Pupils in higher grades will continue to have all their lessons remotely in red zones, and 25-50 percent of them online in orange zones. 

Meanwhile people in orange zones, who are confined to their own municipalities, will continue to be allowed to visit friends or family at home once a day so long as they stay within their town.

Visits within the same region have been temporarily authorized everywhere in Italy over the Easter weekend, but stricter limits will resume after the holiday, with no socializing allowed in red zones. 

EXPLAINED: What are Italy’s rules for travel over Easter?

Photo by Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP

While the text of the new decree has not yet been released, the government outlined the main measures in a statement after its cabinet meeting on Wednesday night. 

They include a requirement making vaccines compulsory for healthcare workers. Anyone refusing to be vaccinating can be reassigned, where possible, in roles away from the public. If not, their pay will be suspended.

Two weeks ago, on March 15th, new restrictions went into effect on three-quarters of the country. Health Minister Roberto Speranza said then that the clampdown might allow a relaxation of measures in the second half of spring.

Italy recorded 467 new deaths on Wednesday linked to Covid-19 and 23,904 new infections. Nearly 110,000 people have died in Italy since the coronavirus hit the country over a year ago.

The government has already tried to ensure that Italians do not congregate or travel during Easter, with the entire country considered a high-risk red zone over the weekend of April 3rd-5th.

In a red zone, residents have to stay home except for work, health or other essential reasons.

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

For the moment, no regions are considered yellow or white – the two lowest-risk categories – which would allow seated dining in restaurants until 6:00 pm and more freedom to travel.

The Italian Health Ministry decides which regions are in which zones based on weekly health data released every Friday afternoon. Once a region has been declared a red or orange zone, it must remain one for at least two weeks, with the tightened restrictions coming into force from Monday morning.

While the classification is usually based on a complex assessment of 21 different risk factors, any region that has a weekly incidence rate of more than 250 new cases per 100,000 residents automatically becomes a red zone.

Member comments

  1. I know in one popular tourist region, 30% of the restaurants will not be able to open. That’s a relatively wealthy region. Estimates are a much higher number in the cities. The lockdowns were bad enough, but what one Michelin star restaurant owner tells me, the opening and closing three time is what killed them.

  2. The main problem is that the vaccination programme is simply not proceeding quickly enough. In our region, the 70-79s have only just been invited to book an appointment, and then they are required to travel a long way from where they live because there are only 4 vaccination centres in our province.

    It’s the same situation in a lot of regions, I’m pretty sure.

  3. Thank you, Sarah. This is indeed insane. As is anyone willing to take an experimental “vaccine” that hasn’t been approved by the FDA, will be in the experimental phase until 2023 and for which the pharmaceutical companies have accepted no liability for injury or deaths. And there have already been plenty of those – all dismissed as “coincidence,” whereas people who died of old age, other underlying health issues or even the flipping ‘flu (which completely disappeared in 2020, according to the WHO itself) were labelled Covid deaths if they’d ever tested positive from the PCR test that the Nobel Prize winning inventor, Kary Mullis, warned didn’t work for this kind of thing.

    1. Oh dear Marisa, I was so pleased to read your comment. I thought I was the only person on here who thought this way.
      Thank you so much for expressing this too.
      Take care xx

      1. Thank you too, Daniela. I was fully expecting to be de-platformed for stating this, so it helps to know you agree with me. This insanity must stop and only we can end it. Take care too! xx

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Former Italian PM faces investigation over Covid response

Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte is set to undergo a judicial inquiry over claims his government's response to the Covid-19 outbreak in early 2020 was too slow.

Former Italian PM faces investigation over Covid response

Prosecutors in Bergamo, the northern city that was one of the epicentres of the coronavirus outbreak in Europe, targeted Conte after wrapping up their three-year inquiry, according to media reports.

Conte, now president of the populist Five Star movement, was prime minister from 2018 to 2021 and oversaw the initial measures taken to halt the spread of what would become a global pandemic.

Investigating magistrates suspect that Conte and his government underestimated the contagiousness of Covid-19 even though available data showed that cases were spreading rapidly in Bergamo and the surrounding region.

They note that in early March 2020 the government did not create a “red zone” in two areas hit hardest by the outbreak, Nembro and Alzano Lombardo, even though security forces were ready to isolate the zone from the rest of the country.

READ ALSO: ‘Not offensive’: Italian minister defends Covid testing rule for China arrivals

Red zones had already been decreed in late February for around a dozen other nearby municipalities including Codogno, the town where the initial Covid case was reportedly found.

Conte’s health minister Roberto Speranza as well as the president of the Lombardy region, Attilio Fontana, are also under investigation, the reports said.

Bergamo prosecutors allege that according to scientific experts, earlier quarantines could have saved thousands of lives.

Conte, quoted by Il Corriere della Sera and other media outlets, said he was “unworried” by the inquiry, saying his government had acted “with the utmost commitment and responsibility during one of the most difficult moments of our republic.”

READ ALSO: Italy’s constitutional court upholds Covid vaccine mandate as fines kick in

Similar cases have been lodged against officials elsewhere, alleging that authorities failed to act quickly enough against a virus that has killed an estimated 6.8 million people worldwide since early 2020.

In January, France’s top court threw out a case against former health minister Agnes Buzyn, a trained doctor, over her allegedly “endangering the lives of others” by initially playing down the severity of Covid-19.