Italy’s Campania region orders residents not to leave their own province

The region of Campania has ordered residents not to leave their own province except for emergencies, in a return to restrictions not seen since the end of Italy's lockdown.

Italy's Campania region orders residents not to leave their own province
The centre of Naples. Residents of Campania have been told to avoid leaving their own province as coronavirus infections rise. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

In a new ordinance on Tuesday, the southern region instructed people to remain within their province of residence except for absolute necessities. 

The limit on movement, the strictest yet since Italy began phasing out its nationwide lockdown in May, is expected to be accompanied by a nighttime curfew as Campania battles a sharp rise in coronavirus infections.

READ ALSO: Lombardy and Campania to impose Covid-19 evening curfew

Both restrictions are due to take effect from Friday, October 23rd. It's not clear how long they will remain in place.

Under the new rules, people will be authorised to cross provincial lines only for reasons of work, health, family, school or other “urgent necessity”, attested by a self-certification form.

Residents can continue to travel across the region in order to return to their place of residence (including a “habitual domicile” where they usually live but may not be officially registered). 

It's not clear how the rules apply to people who aren't residents of Campania.

Campania has also ordered primary and secondary schools to cancel in-person classes for the rest of the month as new cases rise to more than 1,000 per day.

And in the Covid-19 hotspot of Arzano on the northern outskirts of Naples, the region has declared a localised lockdown, ordering bars, restaurants and non-essential shops to close and forbidding residents to leave the municipality. 

As well as the restrictions on movement, regional governor Vincenzo De Luca wants to introduce a region-wide curfew from 11pm to 5am, when businesses will have to close and people should stay indoors.

Italy's national government has already given the go-ahead for a curfew in Lombardy, currently the region reporting the highest number of new infections.

The Italian government has so far resisted imposing a nationwide curfew, preferring instead to give local authorities more powers to implement targeted restrictions in Covid-19 “red zones”. 

Some of the other measures being deployed by the worst-hit regions include ordering shopping centres closed at weekends, banning eating and drinking outdoors in public, and encouraging schools to teach at least half of their lessons online.

READ ALSO: Italy targets crowds and nightlife as it tightens the coronavirus rules – again

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Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

The mandatory EU-wide mask requirement for air travel is set to be dropped from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still require passengers to wear masks on some or all flights

Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

Europe-wide facemask rules on flights are set to be ditched as early as next week in light of new recommendations from health and air safety experts.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) dropped recommendations for mandatory mask-wearing in airports and during flights in updated Covid-19 safety measures for travel issued on Wednesday, May 11th.

The new rules are expected to be rolled out from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still continue to require the wearing of masks on some or all of flights. And the updated health safety measures still say that wearing a face mask remains one of the best ways to protect against the transmission of the virus.

The joint EASA/ECDC statement reminded travellers that masks may still be required on flights to destinations in certain countries that still require the wearing of masks on public transport and in transport hubs.

It also recommends that vulnerable passengers should continue to wear a face mask regardless of the rules, ideally an FFP2/N95/KN95 type mask which offers a higher level of protection than a standard surgical mask.

“From next week, face masks will no longer need to be mandatory in air travel in all cases, broadly aligning with the changing requirements of national authorities across Europe for public transport,” EASA executive director Patrick Ky said in the statement. 

“For passengers and air crews, this is a big step forward in the normalisation of air travel. Passengers should however behave responsibly and respect the choices of others around them. And a passenger who is coughing and sneezing should strongly consider wearing a face mask, for the reassurance of those seated nearby.”  

ECDC director Andrea Ammon added: “The development and continuous updates to the Aviation Health Safety Protocol in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic have given travellers and aviation personnel better knowledge of the risks of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and its variants. 

“While risks do remain, we have seen that non-pharmaceutical interventions and vaccines have allowed our lives to begin to return to normal. 

“While mandatory mask-wearing in all situations is no longer recommended, it is important to be mindful that together with physical distancing and good hand hygiene it is one of the best methods of reducing transmission. 

“The rules and requirements of departure and destination states should be respected and applied consistently, and travel operators should take care to inform passengers of any required measures in a timely manner.”