On Oct. 13, authorities in Italy updated the country's state of emergency decree and tightened the country's restrictions nationwide as part of ongoing efforts to limit the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Public gatherings, parties, and other assembly functions, both indoor and outdoor venues, are prohibited. Health officials recommend home gatherings be limited to six guests and members of the household. Protective face coverings are advised for such gatherings. Weddings, baptisms, and funerals are permitted; however, receptions are limited to 30 people. Restaurants, cafes, and bars offering table service will need to close by 2359. Restaurants not offering table service will need to close by 2100; however, takeout will be permitted after 2100. In addition, all contact amateur sports, including football, are temporarily suspended. Furthermore, the mandatory isolation period for persons testing positive for COVID-19 but are asymptomatic has been reduced to 10 days. Individuals can end the self-isolation after 10 days if they test negative and are asymptomatic; however, those displaying symptoms will have to stay in isolation for an additional three days. The new decree signed by Prime Minister Antonio Conte will also permit local authorities to institute localized lockdowns if necessary. These measures will be in place until at least Nov. 13.
Authorities in Italy previously tightened COVID-19-related entry restrictions for travelers from certain countries. Individuals traveling from Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, the Netherlands, Spain, and the UK, or who have visited these countries in the previous 14 days, are required to present evidence of a negative COVID-19 molecular or antigenic test taken within the previous 72 hours on arrival. Alternatively, individuals may opt to take a test at the airport, or self-isolate and arrange to take a test within 48 hours of arrival for airports without testing capabilities; a positive result will require the traveler to quarantine until two consecutive negative tests have been recorded.
This measure has already been in place for travelers from Bulgaria but, it no longer applies for travelers from Croatia, Greece, and Malta. Travelers from most other EU countries, Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland, and the Vatican City, are permitted to enter the country without restriction. Travelers from Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, Romania, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, and Uruguay are permitted to enter Italy but must self-isolate for 14 days on arrival.
All travel from Armenia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Kosovo, Kuwait, North Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Oman, Panama, Peru, Dominican Republic, and Serbia is prohibited, except for Italian residents and their immediate families, and for government workers. Travel is prohibited from all other countries, except when conducted for study, proven work needs, or urgent reasons such as health; all such arrivals are also required to register and self-isolate for 14 days on arrival. Transport and health workers, individuals in transit through Italy, and those staying in Italy for less than 120 hours for work reasons are not required to self-isolate.
All international arrivals, excluding those from San Marino and Vatican City, are required to fill out a self-declaration form prior to arrival that must be presented to authorities upon request.
Authorities in Italy previously extended the nation's state of emergency until Jan. 31. The measure, gives the central government the authority to tighten restrictions and allocate resources nationwide at short notice. Protective face coverings are mandatory in all outdoor public spaces in addition to enclosed public spaces; violators may face fines between EUR 400-1000 (USD 470-1180). Social distancing of at least one meter (3 feet) must be observed where possible. Remote working remains encouraged whenever possible.
Most business operations and social activities are permitted to resume, provided strict social distancing and hygiene requirements are enforced. Authorities have removed restrictions on travel within Italy; however, regional authorities may require health screenings. Rail passengers are subject to a mandatory temperature check before boarding. Any individuals displaying symptoms of COVID-19 will not be permitted to travel.
Authorities could reimpose, extend, further ease, or otherwise amend any restrictions with little-to-no notice depending on disease activity over the coming weeks.
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.
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.