Italy to Ease COVID Restrictions
Italy has announced its plan to ease COVID-19 restrictions from 26 April.
Many of Italy’s current restrictions will be gradually relaxed from the end of April. On this day, the majority of Italian regions are going to move to a ‘yellow’ and ‘orange’ zone, the areas where the least restrictions are put into place.
This means that most activities including shops, bars and restaurants, and also all schools are going to reopen, although with limitations, and that the country can start to look towards the summer season with optimism.
Currently, Italy is registering about 8,000 daily cases and 300 deaths, with about 3,000 people being treated in intensive care units. At the moment, vaccination efforts have covered 18.4% of the total population. By the end of the month, the government is planning to reach 500,000 injections a day.
Are these reopenings going to be permanent? When I said that this is a calculated risk, that is the answer exactly. We have taken this risk and we are reopening. I have no doubts that the vaccination strategy will become increasingly better. If regulations are observed, with distancing and masks, the risk of having to go back is very low.Mario Draghi, Italian Prime Minister
Gradual Lifting of Restrictions
From April 26th: Schools, outdoor dining, travel between ‘yellow’ zones
All schools and universities will resume in-person teaching in yellow and orange zones.
Restaurants will be allowed to reopen in yellow zones for both lunch and dinner – with outdoor seating only.
Cinemas and theatre shows will be allowed outdoors. Indoor showings can also go ahead, but will have their capacity limited. Masks and distancing will be required.
Outdoor sports will also be allowed from this date. Travel will also be allowed once again between yellow zone regions.
May 15th: Beaches and outdoor swimming pools reopen
Beach clubs and outdoor pools are expected to reopen in mid-May, with some safety restrictions still in place, including limits on the number of customers allowed.
June 1st: Gyms reopen
Gyms and other indoor fitness facilities and will have to wait until June for reopening, the health minister confirmed.
Sports facilities will have to follow safety guidelines, including limiting the number of people allowed to exercise at once, requiring face masks in communal areas and asking users to book training in advance.
July 1st: trade fairs restart
Large trade fairs open to the public can go ahead from July, the health minister stated.
Plans About Travel
The Italian government did not confirm any plans to relax the current restrictions on travel to Italy. The Italian health ministry earlier this month stated that the current travel restrictions must stay in place until at least 30 April.
The tourism minister last week suggested 2 June as a possible date for restarting non-essential travel but nothing is set to stone as of yet.
Testing and quarantine are currently required for almost all arrivals, and these requirements are expected to stay in place for many travelers as Italy’s vaccine rollout remains slower than in countries such as the UK and the US.
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