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

Here are the key dates in Italy's revised roadmap for easing the coronavirus restrictions.

Indoor dining and later curfew: Italy's new timetable for easing Covid-19 restrictions
Bars and restaurants have reopened outdoors in Italy, and limited indoor service will also soon be allowed. Photo: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP

The Italian government on Monday night announced an overhaul of its reopening schedule, as the health situation continues to improve across the country.

Changes to the timetable include allowing gyms to reopen earlier than scheduled, and a gradual easing of the nightly 10pm curfew.

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

Italy began relaxing restrictions from April 26th. Schools, museums, cinemas and shops are now open in Italy’s lower-risk yellow zone (this classification currently applies to 19 out of 20 Italian regions).

Most of the remaining health measures are now set to be eased by July.

Here’s a quick guide to what changes and when according to the government’s latest update.

MAY 18 – Italy’s nationwide curfew will be pushed back from 10pm to 11pm, effective immediately, the government announced.

MAY 22 – Shopping centres and markets can reopen on weekends, as well as weekdays as is currently the case.

Ski lifts in mountain resorts, which have been closed since last summer, also reopen.

MAY 24 – Gyms get the green light to reopen from this date – a week earlier than the previous planned reopening date of June 1st.

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.

JUNE 1Bars and restaurants without outdoor seating can reopen from this date.

Customers will once again be allowed to drink their coffee at the bar – which is currently forbidden – and restaurants will be allowed to serve customers indoors.

Photo: Miguel MEDINA / AFP

Sports stadiums can reopen to the public from this date, at 25 percent of their maximum capacity. The number of spectators must not exceed 1,000 in open-air venues and 500 in indoor venues.

From June 1, the regions of Friuli Venezia Giulia, Molise and Sardinia will be in the low-restriction white zone, meaning some restrictions will not apply.

JUNE 7 From this date, the evening curfew moves to midnight.

The regions of Abruzzo, Veneto and Liguria will be in the low-restriction white zone, meaning some restrictions will no longer apply.

JUNE 15 Wedding receptions can go ahead – but those attending will have to provide a certificate showing that they’ve been vaccinated, have had Covid-19 and recovered or show a negative test result within 48 hours before the celebrations.

The government is yet to confirm the maximum number of guests allowed for outdoor and indoor events.

EXPLAINED: How and when weddings in Italy can go ahead this summer

Large trade fairs open to the public can also go ahead from this date, as can conferences and congresses. Theme parks can also reopen, as the date was brought forward from July 1st.

JUNE 21 – The evening curfew will be scrapped completely

JULY 1 – The last things to reopen, according to the government’s plan, will be indoor swimming pools, spas, games rooms, bingo halls, casinos, and recreational and social centres.

What doesn’t change:

Nightclubs, discos and other dance venues have not been given a date for reopening.

There was no word yet on whether Italy may remove the requirement to wear masks at all times in public, including outdoors.

Tighter restrictions could be enforced again if local areas are designated higher-risk red and orange zones due to localised outbreaks.

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

Member comments

  1. Several articles have mentioned that US citizens may be permitted to once again travel to Italy with a negative covid test within 48 hours. I cannot find mention anywhere of what type of test will be acceptable: The Rapid Test or a PCR Test?
    It appears that the so called “covid free flights” from the USA may be using the Rapid test as passengers are being tested right before boarding. PCR tests results are usually not available for one to three days. People here in the USA are also wondering why the same requirements couldn’t be required for any airline flying from the USA to Italy. Why only American, Delta and Al’Italia? Any testing information would be helpful.
    Thank you – Catherine Marino

    1. We are booked on a Delta COVID-tested flight in 3 weeks. We are required to have a negative PCR test within 48 hours of departure (though Delta’s info says 72hrs and I’m currently trying to clear that up). Proof of negative test is presented to the airline at checkin. We are then required to take a rapid test at the airport from which we will depart for Italy (in our case Atlanta) and then another rapid test upon arrival in Rome.

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COVID-19

Covid-19: Are Italian live events at risk of being postponed?

As the infection rate rises sharply across the country, Italian virologists are calling for concerts and festivals to be rescheduled.

Covid-19: Are Italian live events at risk of being postponed?

Italy has seen a large increase in the number of Covid-19 cases in recent days, so much so that a number of virologists across the country are now urging the government to postpone major live events in a bid to curb infections. 

According to a new report by Italy’s independent health watchdog, the Gimbe Foundation, 595,349 new cases were recorded in the week from June 29th to July 5th; a worrying 55 percent increase on the previous week. 

In the same time span, the country also registered a 32.8 percent rise in the number of hospitalised patients, which went from 6,035 to 8,003.  

The latest Covid wave, which is being driven by the highly contagious Omicron 5 variant, is a “real cause for concern”, especially in terms of a “potential patient overload”, said Nino Cartabellotta, president of the Gimbe Foundation. 

As Italian cities prepare to host a packed calendar of concerts and festivals this summer, health experts are questioning whether such events should actually take place given the high risk of transmission associated with mass gatherings.

READ ALSO: What tourists in Italy need to know if they get Covid-19

“Rescheduling these types of events would be the best thing to do right now,” said Massimo Ciccozzi, Director of Epidemiology at Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome. 

The summer wave is expected to peak in mid-July but, Ciccozzi warns, the upcoming live events might “delay [the peak] until the end of July or even beyond” and extend the infection curve.

Antonello Maruotti, Professor of Statistics at LUMSA University of Rome, recently shared Ciccozzi’s concerns, saying that live events as big as Maneskin’s scheduled Rome concert are “definitely not a good idea”. 

The Italian rock band are slated to perform at the Circus Maximus on Saturday, July 9th but the expected turnout – over 70,000 fans are set to attend the event – has raised objections from an array of Italian doctors, with some warning that the concert might cause as many as 20,000 new cases.

If it were to materialise, the prospected scenario would significantly aggravate Lazio’s present medical predicament as there are currently over 186,000 Covid cases in the region (nearly 800 patients are receiving treatment in local hospitals). 

Italian rock band Maneskin performing in Turin

Italian rock band Maneskin are expected to perform at the Circus Maximus in Rome on Saturday, July 9th. Photo by Marco BERTORELLO / AFP

But, despite pleas to postpone the event, it is likely that Maneskin’s concert will take place as scheduled.

Alessandro Onorato, Rome’s Tourism Councillor, said that rescheduling is “out of question” and that “all recommendations from the local medical authorities will be adopted” with the help of the event’s organisers and staff on the ground.

At the time of writing, there is also no indication that the Italian government will consider postponing other major live events scheduled to take place in the coming weeks, though the situation is evolving rapidly and a U-turn on previous dispositions can’t be ruled out.

READ ALSO: At a glance: What are the Covid-19 rules in Italy now?

On this note, it is worth mentioning that Italy has now scrapped all of its former Covid measures except the requirement to wear FFP2 face masks on public transport (though not on planes) and in healthcare settings.

The use of face coverings is, however, still recommended in all crowded areas, including outdoors – exactly the point that leading Italian doctors are stressing in the hope that live events will not lead to large-scale infection.

Antonio Magi, President of Rome’s OMCEO (College of Doctors, Surgeons and Dentists), said: “Our advice is to wear FFP2 masks […] in high-risk situations.”

“I hope that young people will heed our recommendations and think about the health risks that their parents or grandparents might be exposed to after the event [they attend].”

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