Italy pushes back Covid curfew to 11pm and makes six regions low-risk ‘white’ zones

Italy approved a new curfew on Monday allowing people to circulate in the evenings one hour longer after the country saw its lowest coronavirus deaths in months.

Italy pushes back Covid curfew to 11pm and makes six regions low-risk 'white' zones
People look at the Piazza del Popolo from the Pincio, in Rome on November 7, 2020. - Italy has established a curfew starting from today on the whole national territory from 10 pm to 5 am, aimed at stopping the spread of the COVID-19 (new coronavirus) pandemic. (Photo by Tiziana FABI / AFP)

The 10pm-5am curfew, which has been in effect across Italy since November, will be pushed back to 11pm effective immediately from May 18th.

The curfew – intended to discourage social gatherings that could risk new coronavirus infections – will then be pushed back to midnight on June 7, and eliminated entirely on June 21 in the so-called ‘yellow’ zones where it is in effect, a government official confirmed.

Meanwhile in-restaurant dining will be allowed until 6pm from June 1st under new rules.

READ ALSO: Indoor dining and later curfew: Italy’s new timetable for easing Covid-19 restrictions

Italy began its long awaited reopening late last month, allowing restaurants and bars to operate outside and doing away with interregional travel restrictions in most of the country.

Italy has been divided into different coloured zones indicating the level of coronavirus restrictions they must follow based on health data, with ‘red’ being the highest-risk zones, followed by orange and yellow. Most of Italy is currently considered yellow.

Monday’s measures also saw six different regions being made minimal-risk ‘white’ zones, where only mask-wearing and social distancing applies: Friuli-Venezia-Giulia, Molise and Sardinia, as of June 1, and Abruzzo, Veneto and Liguria a week later.

The new measures come amid encouraging health data in recent weeks while the pace of vaccinations has picked up.

Sunday’s 93 Covid-19-related deaths was the lowest figure seen since October. The health ministry recorded 140 deaths on Monday.

Prime Minister Mario Draghi has faced pressure in recent weeks from the far-right, which has been pushing for the country to open up more quickly, including getting rid of the curfew entirely.

Beaches officially opened at the weekend, and European Union tourists were allowed entry into the country on Sunday without the need to quarantine for five days.

Member comments

  1. I have a question. Am I right that tourists can travel around Italy in white or yellow zones without restriction? Do we need the green pass and if so how do we go about getting that? Maybe they give us something when we enter the country? We plan to travel by train to places like Venice, Florence, Cinque Terre, and Bologna. I want to make sure we are not breaking any rules!

      1. Thank you! I am trying to read up on it but sometimes the rules seem unclear and I want to make sure I understand them.

  2. Does anyone know whether a family from Switzerland, Germany or France can drive to Tuscany through the night to a pre-booked villa rental so they can arrive early the following day?

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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.”