The regions of Abruzzo, Liguria, Umbria and Veneto are downgraded to ‘white’ zone status from Monday June 7th, meaning most coronavirus restrictions can be relaxed.
Under ‘white zone’ rules, regions can drop most of the restrictions currently in place in yellow zones including the evening curfew and the restrictions on opening hours for businesses, including restaurants.
The health ministry confirmed the changes on Friday, after the latest weekly coronavirus monitoring report from the health ministry and the Higher Health Institute (ISS) confirmed Italy’s coronavirus numbers had continued to fall for another week.
Seven regions are now in the white zone, after Friuli-Venezia-Giulia, Molise and Sardinia were downgraded last week.
Italy’s evening curfew – which is not applicable in white zones – has also been moved from 11pm to midnight on Monday and will be scrapped completely on June 21st.
The regions moving into white zones will be able to drop the last remaining restrictions, and reopen trade fairs, theme parks, conferences and indoor swimming pools and hold weddings earlier than planned under the national roadmap for reopening.
So far, only mask-wearing and social distancing rules must remain in place in white zones, the health minister has said.
For now, nightclubs and discos are still suspended and it is not known if or when Italy may relax the rules on wearing masks outdoors.
And the final set of rules in each region depends on the local authority, as each is free to impose stricter restrictions than those set by the national government.
The regions moving into the low-restriction white zone have registered fewer than 50 coronavirus cases per 100,000 inhabitants for three weeks consecutively – the threshold for determining white zone eligibility.
All indicators in the nation’s latest weekly coronavirus monitoring report showed another decrease in the coronavirus numbers.
The national average Rt reproduction number had dropped to 0.68 from 0.72, it said.
“If the trend continues like this, by the second week of June all of Italy will be in the white zone,” said ISS head Silvio Brusaferro at a press conference on Friday.
He said there had been an “immediate” fall in the contagion curve and the number of cases after the vaccine rollout gathered pace recently.
Italy has been administering around half a million doses per day in recent weeks, and reported a new national record of 600,000 shots in one day on Saturday.