Italy Declares State of Emergency Until End of April

By Dejan Vukosavljevic

The Italian government has declared a State of Emergency which will last until April 30, 2021.

The cabinet of Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has also adopted a new set of measures which are set to last until March 5, 2021. The new regulations will come into effect on Jan. 16, 2021.

Per the new Decree that was signed by Prime Minister Conte, the country will be divided into four zones, depending on the epidemiological situation.

In the red zone, the most stringent rules of the hard lockdown will apply. In order to leave the house, citizens will need a reason to move, such as going to work or going to the doctor. All non-essential shops, bars, restaurants, cinemas, theaters, and opera houses will be closed. The grocery stores, pharmacies, bookstores, underwear, and sports stores, and hairdressers will be allowed to open.

In the orange zone, free travel will be allowed only within the municipality region. Shops will remain open, except for shopping centers on weekends. Bars, restaurants, pastry shops, cinemas, theaters, and opera houses will be closed.

In the yellow zone, people can move freely, but will not be able to cross regional borders, except for specific reasons. Shops will be open, except for shopping centers on weekends. Restaurants and bars will be able to stay open until 6 p.m. CET. Museums will be able to reopen, but other cultural venues will remain closed.

The most liberal white zone will have no restrictions, except the mandatory social distance and wearing a face mask. Currently, there is no such zone in Italy (with less than 50 infections per 100,000 inhabitants,) but the government wants to ensure a smooth transition once the proper epidemiological conditions are met.

“In the past week there has been a generalized worsening of the pandemic, and we are back to an expansionary phase,” said Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza. “A strong new storm is mounting in Europe. The coming months will be very difficult,” added Speranza.

Italy is undergoing the second COVID-19 wave, with new daily infections reaching 19,967 cases on Jan. 9, 2021.