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COVID-19

Most Italian regions under relaxed ‘yellow zone’ Covid rules from Monday

The Covid-19 rules are to be eased next week in much of Italy with the reintroduction of yellow zones, meaning many businesses can reopen and restrictions on movement will be lifted.

Most Italian regions under relaxed 'yellow zone' Covid rules from Monday
Restaurants will be allowed to serve customers at outdoor tables in yellow zones from Monday. Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP

The majority of the country’s 20 regions and autonomous provinces are to become lower-risk yellow zones from Monday April 26th, according to a health ministry ordinance released on Friday evening.

Five regions are to remain in the moderate-risk orange zone: Basilicata, Calabria, Puglia, Sicily and Valle d’Aosta 

The island of Sardinia will be the only region to remain in the highest-risk red zone.

All other regions will be placed under lower-level yellow zone restrictions.

The health minister is expected to sign the ordinance on Friday evening making the zone changes official. 

READ ALSO: 

Italy’s coronavirus Rt reproduction number has fallen to 0.81, down from 0.85 last week, the latest weekly coronavirus monitoring report from the health ministry and the Higher Health Institute (ISS) showed.

The number of new cases fell to 157.4 for every 100,000 inhabitants, down from 160.5 in the previous week, officials said at a press conference on Friday.

This is still a long way from the 50 cases per 100,000 inhabitants that would make it possible to resume tracing and tracking, however it does mean pressure has eased on hospitals in most regions, health officials said.

The lower-level yellow zone classification returns to the map on Monday after the government announced last week it would begin slowly easing restrictions ahead of summer..

Photo: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP

Restaurants in yellow zones will be able to serve customers at outdoor tables, after weeks of being limited to takeaways and deliveries only.

Restrictions on non-essential travel between regions in yellow zones will also be dropped.

Travel to and from higher-risk regions will be possible using a new travel pass, the government announced.

READ ALSO: When will Italy relax the restrictions on international travel?

Many restrictions stay in place however, including the nationwide 10pm curfew.

Since early March all regions have been classed as higher-risk red or orange zones, with tough restrictions on movement and business openings in both.

The gradual reopening plan does not currently include any changes the current restrictions on travel to Italy from abroad.

An update to the international travel restrictions is expected to be announced by the end of April.

Member comments

  1. I needed to go to San Marino today for business and was pleased to see it already has the bars and restaurants open and no 10pm curfew.

    Currently I believe you need a reason to enter San Marino, but with Italy allowing travel between yellow zones next week it might be worth seeing whether the San Marino government are allowing leisure visitors from next week. It was nice to have a bit of normality

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TRAVEL NEWS

Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

The mandatory EU-wide mask requirement for air travel is set to be dropped from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still require passengers to wear masks on some or all flights

Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

Europe-wide facemask rules on flights are set to be ditched as early as next week in light of new recommendations from health and air safety experts.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) dropped recommendations for mandatory mask-wearing in airports and during flights in updated Covid-19 safety measures for travel issued on Wednesday, May 11th.

The new rules are expected to be rolled out from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still continue to require the wearing of masks on some or all of flights. And the updated health safety measures still say that wearing a face mask remains one of the best ways to protect against the transmission of the virus.

The joint EASA/ECDC statement reminded travellers that masks may still be required on flights to destinations in certain countries that still require the wearing of masks on public transport and in transport hubs.

It also recommends that vulnerable passengers should continue to wear a face mask regardless of the rules, ideally an FFP2/N95/KN95 type mask which offers a higher level of protection than a standard surgical mask.

“From next week, face masks will no longer need to be mandatory in air travel in all cases, broadly aligning with the changing requirements of national authorities across Europe for public transport,” EASA executive director Patrick Ky said in the statement. 

“For passengers and air crews, this is a big step forward in the normalisation of air travel. Passengers should however behave responsibly and respect the choices of others around them. And a passenger who is coughing and sneezing should strongly consider wearing a face mask, for the reassurance of those seated nearby.”  

ECDC director Andrea Ammon added: “The development and continuous updates to the Aviation Health Safety Protocol in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic have given travellers and aviation personnel better knowledge of the risks of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and its variants. 

“While risks do remain, we have seen that non-pharmaceutical interventions and vaccines have allowed our lives to begin to return to normal. 

“While mandatory mask-wearing in all situations is no longer recommended, it is important to be mindful that together with physical distancing and good hand hygiene it is one of the best methods of reducing transmission. 

“The rules and requirements of departure and destination states should be respected and applied consistently, and travel operators should take care to inform passengers of any required measures in a timely manner.”

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