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Schools, restaurants, gyms, travel: Here’s Italy’s new timetable for reopening

When will gyms reopen, and can we travel to or within Italy? Here are the key dates in Italy's roadmap for easing the coronavirus restrictions.

Schools, restaurants, gyms, travel: Here's Italy's new timetable for reopening
bars and restaurants reopened in Rm this week as the first restrictions were eased. Vincenzo Pinto/AFP

This article was updated on April 29th.

Italy on April 26th began the first cautious easing of some of its coronavirus-related rules under an updated emergency decree, and further changes are planned in the coming weeks and months.

Here’s a quick guide to what will reopen and when, according to the new decree.

From April 26th: Schools, outdoor dining, travel between ‘yellow’ zones

Many of Italy’s current restrictions were relaxed from April 26th, in lower-risk ‘yellow’ zone’ areas only.

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

All schools and universities will be able to resume in-person teaching in yellow and orange zones. 

Restaurants are allowed to reopen in yellow zones for both lunch and dinner – with seating at outdoor tables only.

Photo: Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP

Cinemas and theatre shows are allowed outdoors. Indoor showings can also go ahead, but will have their capacity limited to 50 percent. Masks and distancing are required.

Museums and galleries can also reopen in yellow zones.

Outdoor sports are once again allowed from this date.

Travel is allowed again between yellow zone regions, and the rule against visiting private homes has been relaxed:

“From April 26th to June 15th 2021, in the yellow zone, four people are allowed to travel to a single inhabited private house once a day during curfew hours, the government stated. This number does not include children and is “in addition to those already living in the house”.

Non-essential travel to and from higher-risk regions is possible using a new domestic ‘immunity pass’.

May 15th: Malls and outdoor swimming pools reopen

Shopping malls, which currently are allowed to open on weekdays only, will be open on weekends again.

Lidos, beach clubs and and outdoor pools are also to reopen in mid-May, with some safety restrictions still in place, including limits on the number of customers allowed.

June 1st: Gyms reopen, indoor restaurant service resumes

Gyms and other indoor fitness facilities and will have to wait until June for reopening, the health minister confirmed.

Sports facilities will have to follow safety guidelines, including limiting the number of people allowed to exercise at once, requiring face masks in communal areas and asking users to book training in advance.


Bars and restaurants can also serve patrons indoors from this date – but only from 5am to 6pm, so dinner service will only be allowed outdoors.

Stadiums meanwhile will reopen to the public at 25 percent capacity. The number of spectators, however, cannot exceed 1,000 in open-air venues and 500 in indoor venues.

July 1st: Conferences and trade fairs restart

Large trade fairs open to the public can go ahead from July, the health minister stated – good news for those planning to attend postponed major events like the Vinitaly wine fair.

Conference venues, theme parks and spas can also resume operations.

What doesn’t change:

The nationwide 10pm curfew remains in place, despite calls for it to be moved to 11pm to accommodate dining in restaurants in yellow zones. The government said the rule will be re-evaluated in May.

Many restrictions are expected to remain in areas designated higher-risk red and orange zones, and rules will still depend on local health data.

What about travel?

The government has not yet announced any plans to relax the current restrictions on travel to Italy..

The tourism minister last week suggested June 2nd as a possible date for restarting non-essential travel, however this has not been confirmed.

Testing and quarantine are currently required for almost all arrivals, and these requirements are expected to stay in place for many travellers as Italy’s vaccine rollout remains slower than in countries such as the UK and US.

For more information on the restrictions please see the Italian Health Ministry’s website (in English).

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Reader Question: What are Italy’s Covid quarantine rules for travellers?

Italy's quarantine rules have changed so many times over the past couple of years, it can be hard to keep track. Here's the latest information on when and how visitors need to self-isolate.

Reader Question: What are Italy's Covid quarantine rules for travellers?

Question: “One of your recent articles says you can exit quarantine by testing negative for the coronavirus. But you can also exit quarantine by obtaining a Letter of Recovery from Covid-19… true?”

Unfortunately, official proof of having recovered from Covid-19 won’t get you out of the requirement to self-isolate if you test positive for Covid while visiting Italy – though it can shorten your quarantine period.

Anyone who tests positive in Italy is required to immediately self-isolate for a minimum of seven days: that’s if the person in question is fully vaccinated and boosted, or has completed their primary vaccination cycle or recovered from Covid less than 120 days ago.

That period is extended to 10 days for those who aren’t fully vaccinated and boosted, or those who recovered from Covid or completed their primary vaccination cycle more than 120 days ago.

READ ALSO: Travel in Italy and Covid rules this summer: what to expect

In either case, the infected person must have been symptomless for at least three days in order to exit quarantine (with the exception of symptoms relating to a lost sense of taste or smell, which can persist for some time after the infection is over).

The patient must also test negative for the virus via either a molecular (PCR) or rapid antigen test on the final day of the quarantine in order to be allowed out.

Quarantined people who keep testing positive for the virus can be kept in self-isolation for a maximum of 21 days, at which point they will be automatically released.

Italy does not currently require visitors from any country to test negative in order to enter its borders, as long as they are fully boosted or were recently vaccinated/ have recently recovered from Covid.

READ ALSO: How tourists and visitors can get a coronavirus test in Italy

Some countries (including the US), however, do require people travelling from Italy to test negative before their departure – which means visitors at the tail end of their journey could be hit with the unpleasant surprise of finding out they need to quarantine for another week in Italy instead of heading home as planned.

It’s because of this rule that a number of The Local’s readers told us they wouldn’t be coming on holiday to Italy this summer, and intend to postpone for another year.

If you are planning on visiting Italy from a country that requires you to test negative for Covid prior to re-entry, it’s a good idea to consider what you would do and where you would go in the unlikely event you unexpectedly test positive.

Please note that The Local cannot advise on specific cases. For more information about how the rules may apply to you, see the Italian Health Ministry’s website or consult the Italian embassy in your country.

You can keep up with the latest updates via our homepage or Italian travel news section.