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COVID-19 RULES

MAP: Which Covid risk zone is each Italian region in from Monday?

With the epidemiological situation still worsening in many parts of Italy, the health ministry has increased the risk classification in four more regions.

People wait outside a pharmacy for Covid testing in Milan.
The numbers of Covid cases and hospitalisations are still rising in many Italian regions. Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP

This article was last updated on January 21st.

The regions of Abruzzo, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Piedmont and Sicily will be classed as medium-high risk Covid ‘orange’ zones from Monday January 24th under Italy’s four-tiered system of Covid restrictions, according to an ordinance signed by Health Minister Roberto Speranza on Friday.

They will join the northern Italian region of Valle d’Aosta, which became the first and only part of the country to turn ‘orange’ on Monday January 17th.

READ ALSO: Four more Italian regions to enter ‘orange’ zone restrictions from Monday

Meanwhile Puglia and Sardinia, two of the five Italian regions that had until now had remained in the least-restricted ‘white’ zone, will be under ‘yellow’ zone restrictions from Monday.

Under the current system, ‘white’ zones are classed as the lowest risk and ‘yellow’, ‘orange’ and ‘red’ zone classifications are given to regions as the health situation worsens.

Only three regions – Umbria, Basilicata and Molise – remain in the least restricted ‘white’ zone from Monday, with the remainder of the country in the ‘yellow’ zone.

The map below shows Italy’s colour zones, effective from Monday, January 21st.

Under rules put in place by Italy’s government last July, a region’s risk status should be based on whether it simultaneously exceeds three thresholds relating to Covid incident rates, Iintensive care Covid patient occupancy rates and general hospital ward Covid patient occupancy rates – with increasingly higher thresholds in place for each risk category.

A region can be declared an ‘orange’ zone if it records a Covid incidence rate of 150 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, combined with 20 percent ICU and 30 percent general ward Covid patient occupancy.

Italy’s health ministry examines the latest health data each week and decides which classification should be applied to a region or autonomous province from the following Monday.

The government has discretionary powers to move a region into a new zone even if the thresholds aren’t exceeded. Likewise, an area could remain in a lower restricted zone when they have – the figures serve only as a guide for authorities.

EXPLAINED: What are the rules in Italy’s Covid ‘orange’ zones?

Italy’s tiered system of localised Covid restrictions was first introduced in November 2020, and was initially used to place tighter limitations on movement in areas where the risk of contagion and pressure on hospitals was deemed dangerously high.

The Italian government is now looking at making changes to the system, as its usefulness has been called into question amid increasing reliance on the use of vaccine passes in Italy and rule changes which mean restrictions in white and yellow zones are now the same, while rules only change in an orange zone for people who are unvaccinated

If a region becomes an orange zone, most venues and activities will remain open and accessible to those with Italy’s ‘super green pass’ health certificate that shows the bearer is vaccinated against or recovered from Covid.

As of January 10th, the vaccine pass is required nationwide to access all public transport and most leisure venues, including hotels and restaurants.

Note that local authorities in Italy can also decide to impose stricter rules at short notice. Always check the latest restrictions in your province or town: find out how here.

For further details about Italy’s current Covid-19 health measures please see the Italian health ministry’s website (available in English).

For members

COVID-19 RULES

Reader question: What are Italy’s Covid quarantine rules for travellers?

Italy's quarantine rules have changed so many times over the past couple of years, it can be hard to keep track. Here's the latest information on when and how visitors need to self-isolate.

Reader question: What are Italy's Covid quarantine rules for travellers?

Question: “One of your recent articles says you can exit quarantine by testing negative for the coronavirus. But you can also exit quarantine by obtaining a certificate of recovery from Covid-19… true?”

Unfortunately, official proof of having recovered from Covid-19 won’t get you out of the requirement to self-isolate if you test positive for Covid while visiting Italy – though it can shorten your quarantine period.

The health ministry’s current rules state that anyone who tests positive while in Italy is required to immediately self-isolate for a minimum of seven days: that’s if the person in question is fully vaccinated and boosted, or has completed their primary vaccination cycle, or was certified as being recovered from Covid less than 120 days ago.

That period is extended to 10 days for those who aren’t fully vaccinated and boosted, or those who recovered from Covid or completed their primary vaccination cycle more than 120 days ago.

In either case, the infected person must have been symptomless for at least three days in order to exit quarantine (with the exception of symptoms relating to a lost sense of taste or smell, which can persist for some time after the infection is over).

READ ALSO: Travel in Italy and Covid rules this summer: what to expect

The patient must also test negative for the virus via either a molecular (PCR) or rapid antigen test on the final day of the quarantine in order to be allowed out.

Read more about getting tested while in Italy in a separate article here.

Quarantined people who keep testing positive for the virus can be kept in self-isolation for a maximum of 21 days, at which point they will be automatically released.

Italy does not currently require visitors from any country to test negative in order to enter its borders, as long as they are fully boosted or were recently vaccinated/ have recently recovered from Covid.

READ ALSO: How tourists and visitors can get a coronavirus test in Italy

Some countries (including the US), however, do require people travelling from Italy to test negative before their departure – which means visitors at the tail end of their journey could be hit with the unpleasant surprise of finding out they need to quarantine for another week in Italy instead of heading home as planned.

It’s because of this rule that a number of The Local’s readers told us they wouldn’t be coming on holiday to Italy this summer, and intend to postpone for another year.

If you are planning on visiting Italy from a country that requires you to test negative for Covid prior to re-entry, it’s a good idea to consider what you would do and where you would go in the unlikely event you unexpectedly test positive.

Please note that The Local cannot advise on specific cases. For more information about how the rules may apply to you, see the Italian Health Ministry’s website or consult the Italian embassy in your country.

You can keep up with the latest updates via our homepage or Italian travel news section.

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