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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 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.”