Covid-19: Italy extends ban on travel between regions amid concern about variants

Covid-19: Italy extends ban on travel between regions amid concern about variants
Italy's long-distance trains are still running, but only essential travel between regions is allowed. Photo: AFP
Italy is to extend the existing ban on non-essential travel between regions for a further ten days.

Outgoing premier Giuseppe Conte's cabinet has chosen to extend the nationwide ban on travel between regions until February 25th, when it will be reviewed again.

The measure was due to expire on Monday February 15th.

The governors of Italy's regions on Thursday called for the travel ban to be kept in place, as concern remains high about the potential spread of more infectious variants of the coronavirus first detected in the UK, Brazil and South Africa.

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The ban applies to all non-essential travel between all regions, regardless of which zone they are in under Italy's tiered system of coronavirus restrictions.

The regional travel ban does not apply to travel for work, health or emergency reasons.

“From 16-25 February any movement between different regions or autonomous provinces is prohibited throughout the country, except for proven work needs, situations of necessity or for health reasons,” the updated decree law states.

“In any case, the return to one's residence, domicile or home is allowed.”

Travel within Italy for tourism remains prohibited.

This means that, while museums and tourist attractions have been allowed to reopen in Italy this month, only people who are already in the region can visit.

Ski slopes were also closed until February 15th, however this measure is being relaxed. It's not clear yet whether all regions will allow their ski resorts to reopen, however.

Earlier this month, Italy eased some rules following a winter holiday lockdown, reclassifying most of its regions as lower-risk “yellow” zones.
 
This means that people can move freely within their own regions, and allows for the daytime reopening of bars, restaurants and museums.

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