On January 14, 2021, Italian Government enacted a new Decree, with COVID-19 measures. These provisions came into force on January 16, 2021 and will apply until March 5, 2021.
The decree provides for the following measures:
MANUFACTURING, COMMERCIAL AND PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES.
On the entire territory of Italy, all manufacturing and commercial activities must comply with the provisions in the Protocol dated April 24, 2020, containing measures aimed at avoiding the spread of COVID-19 at the workplace (you can read more about this Protocol here).
Furthermore, until March 31, 2021, the new Decree explicitly recommends the use of remote working, which can be implemented by means of a simplified procedure.
The new Decree also provides that:
- stores and shops can be open provided that (i) interpersonal distance of at least one meter is met at all times and (ii) access to stores are spaced out, as a means to avoid crowds within the store and (iii) customers remain in the store only for the time strictly necessary to purchase items. Stores and shops must also implement any additional health and safety protocol applicable to their business sector.
- medium and large stores must stay closed on holidays, if located inside malls. Such restrictions do not apply to businesses identified as essential (i.e. pharmacies, health centers, grocery stores, tobacco shops, newsstands and bookshops).
- restaurants are open from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. A maximum of 4 people belonging to the same family or who live together may sit at each table. The following activities are allowed without time restrictions: (i) restaurants inside hotels, limited to customers who stay overnight; (ii) home delivery services in compliance with health and hygiene regulations for both packaging and transport activities; (iii) sale of food and beverage located in service areas along highways, in hospitals and airports, with the obligation in any case to assure compliance with health & safety protocols. Furthermore, take-away is allowed until 10 p.m. but it is prohibited to eat in the restaurant or outside of it. For bars, take-away is allowed until 6 p.m. only.
RESTRICTIONS AT REGIONAL LEVEL
The new Decree extends the regional restrictions already in place for regions classified as "high risk regions" (i.e. level 2) and "very high risk regions" (i.e. level 3). The Ministry of Health monitors the level of risk and identifies regions where the weekly incidence of infection exceeds 50 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.
Until February 15, 2021, no interregional mobility is allowed on the entire territory of Italy. Travel will still be allowed at this time for the following reasons: work, absolute urgency, health needs, study, return to one's domicile, home or place of residency.
High Risk Regions (i.e. level 2) - currently: Abruzzo, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Lazio, Liguria, Marche, Piedmont, Puglia, Umbria, Valle d'Aosta, Calabria, Emilia Romagna and Veneto.
It is prohibited to travel in and out of these regions; within the region, it is also prohibited to move away from the territory of the municipality in which one resides. The only exceptions to these rules are mobility that is justified by proven work, study or health reasons or to return to one's domicile. However, it is possible to travel from small municipalities (with a population of less than 5,000 inhabitants) to other municipalities within a range of 30 kilometers, excluding provincial capitals.
Restaurants must remain closed, but home delivery is allowed with no time limits as well as take away until 10 p.m. For bars, take-away is allowed until 6 p.m. only.
Very High Risk Regions (i.e. level 4) - currently: Lombardy, Sicily and the autonomous province of Bolzano.
It is prohibited to travel in and out of these regions; within the region, it is also prohibited to move away from the territory of the municipality in which one resides. The only exceptions to these rules are mobility that is justified by proven work, study or health reasons or to return to one's domicile. Visits to family members living in another household can take place once a day, between 5 a.m. and 6 p.m., for 2 adults plus minors under the age of 14. Stores must stay closed, safe for essential businesses (you can see the list of these essential businesses in Italian here).
Restaurants must stay closed, but home delivery is allowed with no time limits as well as take away until 10 p.m. For bars, take-away is allowed until 6 p.m. only.
However, each region can implement different restrictions depending on how serious the spread of the virus is in each area.
RESTRICTIONS ON INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL
Anyone entering Italy must sign a declaration confirming which foreign countries and territories he/she has stayed in or transited in the previous fourteen days.
Entry and transit in Italy is allowed only for reasons related to work, absolute urgency, health needs and study purposes, to anyone who, in the previous fourteen days, has transited or stayed in non-Schengen countries with the exclusion of Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Thailand, and Uruguay. Everyone arriving in Italy for these reasons, including those from the above listed countries, must quarantine for 14 days.
Anyone entering Italy from a Schengen country, or who has stayed in a Schengen country in the previous fourteen days, must have resulted negative to a swab test 48 hours prior to his/her entry in Italy; otherwise, they must quarantine for fourteen days.
Entry is prohibited to individuals who have transited or stayed in the UK in the previous 14 days, except if they are residents in Italy before December 23, 2020 or have an absolute necessity to enter the country. In these cases, they will be required to (i) have tested negative to a swab test 72 hours prior to their entry into the country, or do a swab test at the border crossing point (or within 48 hours after entry), as well as (ii) to self quarantine for 14 days, regardless of the test results.
Entry into Italy is also prohibited to individuals who have transited or stayed in Brazil in the previous 14 days, with no exceptions. Furthermore, anyone who entered the country and has transited or stayed in Brazil between January 2 and 16, must immediately contact the local health authority and do a swab test, even if asymptomatic.