What Are the New Covid Restrictions for Italy During Christmas?

Tue, 12/08/2020 - 00:00
Christmas decoration on the street in Florence Italy

Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced during a press conference last Thursday evening the new restrictions to be applied over the Christmas holidays. They are contained in the latest emergency decree, valid from December 4 until January 15, 2021, which also confirms the division of the country according to three areas of epidemiological risk: yellow (lower risk), orange (moderate risk), red (serious risk).

While government officials have said that all Italian regions are expected to become yellow (currently there are 11 yellow zone regions + the Autonomous Province of Trento) by mid-December, a series of travel and movement restrictions will be in place during the holidays in the hopes of containing the spread of the virus and a possible third wave in January.

The rules are as follows: 

  • No travel between Italy’s 20 regions is allowed between December 20 and January 6 except for work, need or health reasons.
  • People cannot leave the town where they are on Christmas Day, St. Stephen’s Day and New Year’s Day except for work, need or health reasons.  
  • The national curfew remains in place, from 10 pm to 5 am, but it will be extended to 7 am on New Year’s Eve. 
  • Ski resorts are and will remain closed until January 7.
  • Those who travel abroad between 21 December and 6 January must quarantine for 14 days upon their return. Tourists arriving in Italy from abroad during the same period will also have to quarantine. Furthermore, anyone who enters Italy from 7 to 15 January, 2021 will have to quarantine if they have stayed or transited in other countries for tourism between 21 December and 6 January.
  • From 21 December to 6 January no cruise ships are permitted to depart, stop or dock at any Italian port.  
  • Bars and restaurants in regions in the yellow zone can stay open until 6 pm, including on Christmas Day and St Stephen’s Day. In orange and yellow zones, they can only be open for take-out.
  • Hotel restaurants must close at 6 pm on New Year’s Eve; therefore for those staying in a hotel, dinner that night can only be served in the room. 

Currently, travel is permitted only between yellow zones; in orange and red zones people, are not permitted to leave the town where they reside. 

Until January 6, 2021, stores can stay open until 9 pm. On Sundays, holiday days and pre-holiday days, stores inside shopping centers and malls must stay closed except for those selling food, pharmacies, tobacco’s and newsagents’ stands. 

Italy is the country with the highest number of Covid-related deaths, despite the fact that it has had one of the strictest lockdowns and some of the toughest restrictions overall.