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COVID-19 RULES

MAP: Which Covid risk zone is each Italian region in from Monday?

With the epidemiological situation still worsening in many parts of Italy, the health ministry has increased the risk classification in four more regions.

People wait outside a pharmacy for Covid testing in Milan.
The numbers of Covid cases and hospitalisations are still rising in many Italian regions. Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP

This article was last updated on January 21st.

The regions of Abruzzo, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Piedmont and Sicily will be classed as medium-high risk Covid ‘orange’ zones from Monday January 24th under Italy’s four-tiered system of Covid restrictions, according to an ordinance signed by Health Minister Roberto Speranza on Friday.

They will join the northern Italian region of Valle d’Aosta, which became the first and only part of the country to turn ‘orange’ on Monday January 17th.

READ ALSO: Four more Italian regions to enter ‘orange’ zone restrictions from Monday

Meanwhile Puglia and Sardinia, two of the five Italian regions that had until now had remained in the least-restricted ‘white’ zone, will be under ‘yellow’ zone restrictions from Monday.

Under the current system, ‘white’ zones are classed as the lowest risk and ‘yellow’, ‘orange’ and ‘red’ zone classifications are given to regions as the health situation worsens.

Only three regions – Umbria, Basilicata and Molise – remain in the least restricted ‘white’ zone from Monday, with the remainder of the country in the ‘yellow’ zone.

The map below shows Italy’s colour zones, effective from Monday, January 21st.

Under rules put in place by Italy’s government last July, a region’s risk status should be based on whether it simultaneously exceeds three thresholds relating to Covid incident rates, Iintensive care Covid patient occupancy rates and general hospital ward Covid patient occupancy rates – with increasingly higher thresholds in place for each risk category.

A region can be declared an ‘orange’ zone if it records a Covid incidence rate of 150 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, combined with 20 percent ICU and 30 percent general ward Covid patient occupancy.

Italy’s health ministry examines the latest health data each week and decides which classification should be applied to a region or autonomous province from the following Monday.

The government has discretionary powers to move a region into a new zone even if the thresholds aren’t exceeded. Likewise, an area could remain in a lower restricted zone when they have – the figures serve only as a guide for authorities.

EXPLAINED: What are the rules in Italy’s Covid ‘orange’ zones?

Italy’s tiered system of localised Covid restrictions was first introduced in November 2020, and was initially used to place tighter limitations on movement in areas where the risk of contagion and pressure on hospitals was deemed dangerously high.

The Italian government is now looking at making changes to the system, as its usefulness has been called into question amid increasing reliance on the use of vaccine passes in Italy and rule changes which mean restrictions in white and yellow zones are now the same, while rules only change in an orange zone for people who are unvaccinated

If a region becomes an orange zone, most venues and activities will remain open and accessible to those with Italy’s ‘super green pass’ health certificate that shows the bearer is vaccinated against or recovered from Covid.

As of January 10th, the vaccine pass is required nationwide to access all public transport and most leisure venues, including hotels and restaurants.

Note that local authorities in Italy can also decide to impose stricter rules at short notice. Always check the latest restrictions in your province or town: find out how here.

For further details about Italy’s current Covid-19 health measures please see the Italian health ministry’s website (available in English).

COVID-19 RULES

Masks to remain mandatory on Italian flights after May 16th

It will still be obligatory for passengers to wear masks on flights to Italy until mid-June, despite the end of the EU-wide requirement on Monday, May 16th, the Italian government has confirmed.

Masks to remain mandatory on Italian flights after May 16th

The Italian government reiterated on Friday that its current mask-wearing rules remain in place until June 15th, reports newspaper Corriere della Sera.

This means the mask mandate will still apply to all air passengers travelling to or from Italy, despite the end of an EU-wide requirement to wear masks on flights and at airports across the bloc from Monday.

READ ALSO: Reader question: What type of mask will I need for travel to Italy?

National regulations take precedence, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) confirmed when announcing the end of the EU rules.

“Wearing face masks at airports and inflight should be aligned with national measures on wearing masks in public transport and transport hubs,” they said in a joint statement published on May 11th.

READ ALSO: Why are so many Italians still wearing face masks in shops?

“If either the departure or destination States require the wearing of face masks on public transport, aircraft operators should require passengers and crew to comply with those requirements inflight, beyond 16 May 2022.

“Further, as of 16 May 2022, aircraft operators, during their pre-flight communications as well as during the flight, should continue to encourage their passengers and crew members to wear face masks during the flight as well as in the airport, even when wearing a face mask is not required”.

The Spanish government also said on Thursday that air passengers would have to continue wearing face masks on planes.

Italy’s current rules specify that higher-grade FFP2 masks should be worn on all forms of public transport, including buses, trams, regional and high-speed trains, ferries, and planes.

Though rules were eased in some settings from May 1st, masks also remain a requirement until June 15th at Italy’s cinemas and theatres, hospitals and care homes, indoor sporting event and concert venues, schools and universities.

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