Italy Sets Further Restrictions Trying to Contain Coronavirus

Tue, 10/13/2020 - 06:08
Mass with coronavirus restrictions in Italy

Italy’s government issued yet another decree late Monday night aimed at containing the spread of coronavirus. It adds further restrictions to the one that was published last week, whose main novelty was the requirement to use masks outdoors, unless performing physical activity or in a condition of prolonged isolation. 

Here are the main new rules contained in the October 12 decree, signed by prime minister Giuseppe Conte late Monday night. 

PARTIES & GATHERINGS - Nightclubs and discos remain closed, be they indoors or outdoors. Fairs and congresses are permitted. The main new rule here is that parties are now prohibited in all indoor and outdoor places. Civil and religious ceremonies such as weddings and baptisms are  allowed, as long as safety measures are enforced. However, with the new decree, the gatherings  following the ceremonies are only allowed with a maximum of 30 participants (it was 200 all throughout summer). In private homes, it is “strongly recommended” to avoid parties and to host gatherings of more than six people, as well as to wear a mask at home if there are people who do not live with you. 

RESTAURANTS AND BARS - Catering activities are allowed until midnight with table service, but only until 9 pm in the absence of table service. Home delivery and takeaways remain permitted,  but with a ban on consumption on the spot or nearby after 9pm. It is also prohibited gathering outside bars and restaurants after 9 pm. 

SPORTS - All recreational contact sports, such as soccer and basketball, as well as recreational races are prohibited.

QUARANTINE - The main change is that those testing positive for the coronavirus but are asymptomatic can reduce their quarantine to 10 days, after which they have to test and are allowed to go out only once the test confirms they are no longer infected. Those with symptoms can end quarantine 10 days after the end of symptoms as long as they have taken a test at least three days after the disappearance of symptoms that has negative results. 

LOCKDOWN - While a national lockdown has been ruled out by several members of the ruling parties and by the prime minister himself, regions will be allowed to decide whether to institute local lockdowns where the rise in cases may be hard to contain. 

SCHOOL - Under the new decree, all educational trips are suspended. The minister of education Lucia Azzolina has ruled out distance learning, which had been proposed by some regional governors. She said students are happy in school and the majority of new contagions does not happen at school.