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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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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.