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UPDATE: The latest information on the coronavirus crisis in Italy

Here's the latest news on the current coronavirus situation in Italy and how measures taken by the Italian authorities may affect you.

UPDATE: The latest information on the coronavirus crisis in Italy
Sanitation wrkers anitize the altar of the Santuario della Madonna del Divino Amore church in Rome on May 13th. Photo: AFP

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Main points:

  • Italy passes 220,000 confirmed cases
  • Death toll now over 31,000
  • New cases continue to slow
  • More reopenings expected from May 18th

What's the latest on the situation in Italy?

Another 888 cases of coronavirus were confirmed in Italy on Wednesday May 13th, meaning there have now been 222,104 cases in total since the outbreak began, including those patients now recovered or deceased.

There are currently 78,457 people known to be infected in Italy.

According to the latest data released by Italy's Department for Civil Protection, there were also 195 new deaths in 24 hours. This pushed the country's death toll up to 31,106.

While still worryingly high, the number of fatalities per day is significantly lower than its peak of nearly 1,000 in mid-March.

The latest data showed that a total of 112,541 people have now recovered.

New cases of coronavirus in Italy from late February to early May. Chart: Italian Civil Protection

 

Italy speeds up reopenings under phase two

Italian authorities on Monday gave the go-ahead for cafes, restaurants and hairdressers to open from May 18th.

This was originally planned for June 1st but has been moved forward.

Since May 4th, Italy has officially been in the second phase of its coronavirus lockdown, with some rules relaxed after eight weeks of nationwide orders to stay at home.

These are the key changes:

The current rules apply until May 17th, after which a new decree will come into force. 

For more details, read our Q&A here.

What hasn't changed?

You still need to carry an autocertificazione ('self-certification') form when leaving home until at least May 17th, when the rules are set to be revised again.

Find the latest version of the form here.

Travel remains tightly restricted, including within your own region. You are only supposed to go outside to buy groceries and other essentials, go to work, visit a doctor or pharmacy, exercise, see relatives or for another urgent reason.

Read more about the rules on travel within Italy here.

 Schools remain closed until at least September.

And you're still required to maintain at least a metre's distance from other people, including in shops, parks and on public transport.

Anyone with a temperature of 37.5 degrees or higher must not go out in public unless advised otherwise by a doctor.

The maximum fine for breaking quarantine rules is €3,000 euros. Penalties are even higher in some regions under local rules, and the most serious offences could result in prison terms.

Regional differences

The rules vary considerably around Italy, with some regional governments using their powers to reopen local shops and other businesses early.

Restrictions are expected to be lifted sooner in some regions than others, depending on how much new cases have slowed, how many hospital beds are available, and what capacity is in place to test and trace people who have the virus.

Check the website of your regione and comune to find out which rules apply where you are.

Read more about which regions are restarting earlier than others here.

When will it be possible to travel to Italy again?
 
Travel to Italy has become almost impossible and is now not advised by most governments, with any travellers arriving now subjected to a 14-day quarantine.
 

While a few flights are still operating to and from Italy, anyone arriving in the country is barred from using public transport and obliged to self-isolate for 14 days.

 
While Italy has not explicitly banned foreign visitors, travelling to and from Italy remains very complicated and is possible only in emergency situations.
 
 

 


How can I protect myself?

You should follow the government's guidance as well as taking the same precautions in Italy that you would anywhere else:

  • Wash hands thoroughly and often with soap and water, especially after coughing and sneezing or before eating.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth, especially with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid close contact with others where possible, and especially people who have symptoms of respiratory illness.
  • Wear a mask if you suspect you are ill, or if you are assisting someone else who is ill.
  • Clean surfaces with alcohol- or chlorine-based disinfectants.

Do not take any antibiotics or antiviral medication unless it has been prescribed to you by a doctor.

You can find the latest information about the coronavirus in Italy from the Italian Health Ministry, your country's embassy, or the WHO.

What should I do if I think I have symptoms?

The initial symptoms of Covid-19 include a cough, headache, fatigue, fever, aching and difficulty breathing.

Covid-19 is primarily spread through droplets released by an infected person when they cough, sneeze or speak, which may pass directly into someone else's mouth, nose or eyes or be transferred there via hands or objects.

Its incubation period is two to 14 days, with an average of seven days.

If you think you have the virus, do not go to hospital or your doctor's surgery: health authorities are worried about potentially infected people turning up at hospitals and passing on the virus.

READ ALSO: Italy's dedicated coronavirus phone numbers and websites

A special Italian health ministry helpline has been launched with more information on the virus and how to avoid getting it. Callers to the 1500 number can get more information in Italian, English and Chinese.

In an emergency situation, you should always call the emergency number 112.

 
Italian vocabulary

a fever – una febbre

a headache – un mal di testa

a cough – una tosse

a cold – un raffreddore

the flu – l'influenza

the coronavirus – il coronavirus

Find all The Local's coverage of the coronavirus outbreak in Italy here

*****

Hi,
 
The Local's mission is to give our readers all the information they need about what's happening in Italy. We rely on paying members to do that, but we have chosen not to put any of our articles about the coronavirus behind our hard paywall, to help keep all of our readers informed. We believe it is the right thing to do at this time.
 
This means that new or occasional readers can read articles for free. On urgent need-to-know articles and official advice about coronavirus, we are also dropping the paywall completely. That includes this article. 
 
We have received many comments from supportive readers asking how can they contribute. The best way is simply to sign up as a member. You can do that in just a few moments by clicking HERE.
 
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Editor, The Local Italy

 

 

While a few flights are still operating to and from Italy, anyone arriving in the country is barred from using public transport for 14 days.

Member comments

  1. Changing the caption doesn’t mean the report is new or different. Mispelt words included… please don’t report as if new article it’s not… its regurgitated material… very frustrating. Not renewing subscription….

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COVID-19 VACCINES

Italy’s deputy health minister under fire after casting doubt on Covid vaccines

Opposition leaders called for health undersecretary Marcello Gemmato to resign on Tuesday after the official said he was not "for or against" vaccines.

Italy's deputy health minister under fire after casting doubt on Covid vaccines

Gemmato, a pharmacist and member of Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s far-right Brothers of Italy party, made the remark during an appearance on the political talkshow ReStart on Rai 2 on Monday evening.

READ ALSO: Covid vaccines halved Italy’s death toll, study finds

In a widely-shared clip, the official criticises the previous government’s approach to the Covid pandemic, claiming that for a large part of the crisis Italy had the highest death rate and third highest ‘lethality’ rate (the proportion of Covid patients who died of the disease).

When journalist Aldo Cazzullo interjects to ask whether the toll would have been higher without vaccines, Gemmato responds: “that’s what you say,” and claimed: “We do not have the reverse burden of proof.”

The undersecretary goes on to say that he won’t “fall into the trap of taking a side for or against vaccines”.

After Gemmato’s comments, the president of Italy’s National Federation of Medical Guilds, Filippo Anelli, stressed that official figures showed the Italian vaccination campaign had already prevented some 150,000 deaths, slashing the country’s potential death toll by almost half.

Vaccines also prevented eight million cases of Covid-19, over 500,000 hospitalisations, and more than 55,000 admissions to intensive care, according to a report from Italy’s national health institute (ISS) in April 2021.

Gemmato’s comments provoked calls for him to step down, including from the head of the centre-left Democratic Party, Enrico Letta.

“A health undersecretary who doesn’t take his distance from no-vaxxers is certainly in the wrong job” wrote the leader of the centrist party Action, Carlo Calenda, on Twitter.

Infectious disease expert Matteo Bassetti of Genoa’s San Martino clinic also expressed shock.

“How is it possible to say that there is no scientific proof that vaccines have helped save the lives of millions of people? You just have to read the scientific literature,” Bassetti tweeted. 

In response to the backlash, Gemmato on Tuesday put out a statement saying he believes “vaccines are precious weapons against Covid” and claiming that his words were taken out of context and misused against him.

The Brothers of Italy party was harshly critical of the previous government’s approach to handling the Covid crisis, accusing the former government of using the pandemic as an excuse to “limit freedom” through its use of the ‘green pass’, a proof of vaccination required to access public spaces. 

But since coming into power, Meloni appears to have significantly softened her stance.

Her appointee for health minister, Orazio Schillaci, is a medical doctor who formed part of the team advising the Draghi administration on its handling of the pandemic.

Schillaci, a former dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery at Rome’s Tor Vergata University, has described the former government’s green pass scheme as an “indispensable tool for guaranteeing safety in university classrooms”.

Speaking at a session of the G20 on Tuesday, Meloni referenced the role of vaccines in bringing an end to the Covid pandemic.

“Thanks to the extraordinary work of health personnel, vaccines, prevention, and the accountability of citizens, life has gradually returned to normal,’ the prime minister said in a speech.

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