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26 Apr 2020 | 06:23 PM UTC

Italy: Government to ease lockdown measures starting on May 4 /update 29

Italy News Alert

Italian government to ease COVID-19 lockdown measures starting on May 4; borders to stay closed to foreign tourists through end of 2020

TIMEFRAME expected from 4/26/2020, 12:00 AM until 5/18/2020, 11:59 PM (Europe/Rome). COUNTRY/REGION Italy

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Event

On Sunday, April 26, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced that starting on Monday, May 4, the government will begin to ease lockdown measures introduced amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Manufacturing, construction, and other industries where there is a low risk of contagion will be allowed to reopen from May 4. According to media reports, retailers will be allowed to reopen on Monday, May 11, and restaurants and bars will be allowed to reopen on Monday, May 18, under strict health measures. Conte stated that schools will likely stay closed until September. The Italian government is expected to release a plan detailing the country's reopening in the coming days.  

On Saturday, April 25, Minister of Culture and Tourism Dario Franceschini stated that there will be no international tourism to Italy (i.e. Italy's borders will remain closed to foreign tourists) through the end of 2020; he added that that the opening of the country's borders depends on the policies of each Italian state and on the development of the epidemiological situation. A ban on all domestic travel remains in place; however, exceptions have been made for necessary work or health-related reasons. It remains unclear how long the ban will remain in effect. All Italian nationals entering the country from abroad are subject to a mandatory self-isolation period of 14 days. Passengers entering Italy by plane, rail, road, and boat are required to declare to authorities their reason for travel, where they plan to self-isolate, how they intend to travel to their place of self-isolation, and their phone number at which they may be contacted during the 14-day self-isolation period.

Existing lockdown measures are scheduled to remain in place until Sunday, May 3. Under the current measures, Italian authorities are requiring all individuals in the country to restrict their movement and to only leave their homes for essential purposes. Most shops, restaurants, and bars are closed. Public gatherings remain suspended nationwide. All individuals are advised to work from home and respect an interpersonal distance of 1 m (3 ft).

As of April 26, 197,675 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Italy, including 26,644 associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected over the near term.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.

 

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