Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Italian authorities to allow all airports to reopen and travel between regions with low COVID-19 contagion risk from June 3.

This alert affects Italy

This alert began 21 May 2020 18:46 GMT and is scheduled to expire 12 Jun 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Easing of COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: From June 3
  • Impact: Severe travel and business disruptions

Summary
Authorities in Italy plan to allow all airports in the country to reopen from June 3 after several airports were closed in March during the lockdown intended to stem the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). In addition, authorities plan to allow travel between regions with low COVID-19 contagion risk, after inter-regional travel was suspended in March.

Authorities have already eased COVID-19-related restrictions from May 18. As of that date, individuals are no longer required to complete a document stating their reason for being outside the home. Also from May 18, some businesses were permitted to reopen, including beauty salons, cafes, and restaurants, provided they adhere to strict hygiene measures. Other restrictions on movement and some nonessential shops and public spaces have been allowed to reopen in recent weeks.

The following restrictions remain in place nationwide:

  • Interregional travel is suspended until June 3.
  • Facemasks must be worn in enclosed public spaces.
  • Social distancing of at least one meter (3 feet) must be observed where possible.
  • Schools remain closed until September.


Controls are in place at all Italian borders denying entry to most travelers, and travelers with a valid reason for traveling to Italy are required to fill out a declaration form prior to entry. All international arrivals in Italy are subject to a mandatory 14-day self-isolation order, though cross-border workers, health workers, and freight transporters are excluded from this measure.

Local authorities are empowered to reintroduce restrictions based on assessments of disease activity in the area. All restrictions are subject to amendment at short notice and may receive updates or extensions in the coming days.

Background and Analysis
The measures adopted by the Italian government are similar to actions taken by other regional governments in recent days in response to the spread of COVID-19. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Advice
Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments. Plan for queues and delays at available shopping centers.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.


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