It is hard not to open a news channel or some sort of social media platform without hearing or reading something related to the new outbreak that is shaking the world. In Italy, the situation has become surreal, something that was far from anybody’s imagination. While the virus initially seemed very far away, in a matter of weeks, Italy’s inhabitants found themselves confined in their homes, not allowed to leave without a valid (and certified) reason and living a situation that most of us only saw on TV or read in books. Suddenly, the presence of the virus is feeling real. The speed at which it spreads required immediate action, to avoid a catastrophe.
The decree of lockdown declared by the Italian government is asking Italians several sacrifices, all aimed at containing the virus as much as possible. While people are trying to adapt to this new lifestyle, working from home, getting used to not being able to leave their homes for a while, it can be hard for a visitor to get a clear picture of the situation in Italy. Indeed, news and social media tend to aliment citizen’s fear rather than giving clear information about the Coronavirus situation.
But what is allowed and what isn’t during the new covid19 outbreak in Italy? What are travel restrictions affecting the country and its visitors and what do they entail? Here’s everything you should know about the 11th March’s decree created to stop the outbreak and to limit the spread of the disease.
Stay At Home
The basic rule of this decree is “Stay at home”. Many Italians are following it, aid by a massive social media campaign incentivizing people to stay at home and organizing alternative activities to deal with this new situation (such as free online courses, for instance). Leaving one’s home is allowed only for health reasons, to go to work (if working from home is not possible) and for other kinds of necessities, which include the purchase of food or medicines.
Those that have a reason to move should compile a document referred to as “self certification” (autocertificazione) that certifies the presence of a good reason to be leaving one’s home, despite the limitations. Such a document’s validity might be checked by the police (and controls are rising), with strict consequences for falsifying such documents. Indeed, the work needs have to be “certified” by a valid proof.
What Is Open In Italy?
While the whole country is in lockdown, some activities are still open to the public. Finding information might be hard, so here you can find what you need to know about shops and other kinds of services and their availability during this situation.
Supermarkets, hypermarkets, discount stores will be open, but some restrictions apply. For example, only a limited amount of people is allowed to enter at the same time, meaning that people usually wait outside and will be called by the staff when the time comes. When entering a store, it is essential to respect the 1-meter distancing rule. Penalties apply to those not complying with the new decree. Local markets, including food markets, are suspended, but the direct selling of fruits and vegetables is still allowed, as long as the safety regulations are followed.
Shops selling personal hygiene items, including perfumes and cosmetics are still open, as well as small stores selling pet food and technology. However, all restaurants, pubs, and bars are closed. To supply the lack of restoration, food deliveries are allowed, as long as the sanitary requirements are followed both concerning the transportation and for the packaging.
Beauty centers and barbershops are closed.
What Is Allowed to Do?
Only necessary movements, defined as the need to shop for food and to go to work are allowed. However, citizens are also allowed to exercise outdoors and to take their pets for a stroll, as long as social distancing rules are respected. They are advised to do so when not many people are around. Parks and public gardens are open, for allowing citizens to take short walks and exercise outdoors. No groups are allowed to train together.
Can I Return to My Home Country During the Lockdown?
It is allowed to return to one’s home country or city. After all, returning home is considered an essential region. However, you should be aware that the majority of countries are restricting entrance from Europe and Italy in particular. Some flights are being canceled and travelers should check flight details with their airlines. Most airlines might offer you a refund or arrange a rebooking.
Keep in mind that you might be required to isolate yourself temporarily when entering another country from Italy. Usually, the isolation needs to last 14 days. You are not advised to travel if you present some symptoms of the coronavirus. Even if you don’t present any symptom, you might be subjected to controls both when leaving Italy and at arrival, so be prepared.
What Airports Are Open In Italy?
In such a weird time, your traveling plans might be disrupted. Today, only 18 airports are open in Italy, including Palermo, Rome, and Milano. However, most services are limited to state flights, emergencies, and transport. Some connection flights are still operating. The open airports have been selected for their geographic location and their capacity and because considered essential. Many airlines have stopped operating flights in Italy. Reducing mobility and transports is one of the main measures taking by the Italian government to stop the spread of covid19 in Italy. In total, 23 airports have been closed in Italy. The open airports will be, after the 13th of March, only dedicated to essential movements.
In such an unrealistic situation, it is normal to feel scared or uncertain. However, it is important to try to respect the limitations, follow the regulation and limit one’s movements. By working collectively towards the goal of reducing the number of contagions, it will be easier to put a stop to the outbreak and to give the sanitary system enough time to deal with the current situation.