After exhausting talks with Presidents of the Italian regions and various political parties in order to reach a consensus to apply restrictive measures during the period that includes shopping, Christmas, and year-end celebrations, Italy Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte communicated the final decisions to the Italians.
“It forces us to introduce measures that provide for further restrictions from 21 December to 6 January.” These were the words of PM Conte at the press conference convened to illustrate the measures provided for by the Christmas decree and the new DPCM (Decreto del presidente del consiglio – Prime Minister’s Decree).
“The numbers of the pandemic at 2 December amounts to 23,501. The road to the end of the pandemic is still long; we must avoid the risk of a third wave that could arrive as early as January, and it could be no less violent than the first and second wave,” the PM said, adding, “We will keep the system of red, orange, and yellow zones. It is proving effective; it allows us to measure the interventions and to adopt well-differentiated measures on a territorial basis.
“The measures are adequate to the actual risk of the territories without unnecessary penalties. In one month, the contagion curve, the Rt index at 0.91, fell below 1. In recent days, we have recorded a decline in hospitalizations even in intensive care, and we expect that near the Christmas holidays, all regions will be yellow. We are avoiding a penalizing lockdown like the one in spring.”
However, there is one aspect that does not allow for distractions. Italy will face the Christmas holidays with the measures of the yellow areas; this will avoid a climb of the contagion curve. This is why the nation is forced to introduce measures that include further restrictions from 21 December to 6 January.
“Let’s start with travel: from 21 December to 6 January all travel (within Italy) from one region to another is prohibited, even to reach second homes. On 25 and 26 December and 1 January, travel from one municipality to another is also prohibited. The ban on moving throughout the territory remains from 10 pm to 5 am; on New Year’s Eve it will be extended from 10 pm to 7 am.
“You can travel for work, health, and necessity reasons. These include assistance to non-self-sufficient people. You are allowed to return to the municipality of residence, to your home, and to the place where you live continuously or periodically. This will allow reunification with people for work reasons but who live together frequently and/or periodically in the same home.
“Italians who will go abroad for tourism from 21 December to 6 January will have to undergo quarantine on their return. Foreign tourists arriving in Italy at the same time will also have to undergo quarantine.”
The ski resorts remain closed until January 6 and may reopen on January 7. There is a quarantine obligation for those returning from ski areas from abroad in order to avoid returning with the contagion.
“From January 7, the activity in secondary schools will restart; at this stage in each school the return in the presence of 75% of students will be guaranteed.”
“Cruises are suspended from 21 December to 6 January.” Starting from 21 December 2020 and until 6 January 2021, cruise services by passenger ships of the Italian flag are suspended with Italian ports as places of departure, stopover, or final destination. It is also forbidden from 20 December 2020 and until 6 January 2021 for management companies, ship owners, and captains of foreign-flagged passenger ships to enter Italian ports including for the purpose of idle parking.” The stop on cruises is to avoid that which is prohibited on land so it can also take place at sea.
“In the yellow area, bars, restaurants, and pizzerias will always be open for lunch, even on 25 December. In the orange and red areas, they will be open from 5 to 22 pm only for take-out and home delivery.” As for the celebrations, dinners, big balls, which are very popular with Italians, a strong recommendation was introduced: “Do not receive non-cohabiting, especially on these occasions, when the celebrations become more intense.
New Year’s Eve
“The hotels remain open throughout Italy but on the 31st, evening parties and dinners cannot be organized; the hotel restaurants will close at 6 pm. After that time, only room service will be allowed.” The shops “from 4 December to 6 January will be open until 9 pm. From 4 December to 15 January on holidays and the days before holidays, only pharmacies, para-pharmacies, health, tobacconists, news agents, and nurseries will be open,” concluded PM Conte.