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On 4 March 2020, the Italian Government enacted yet another decree with provisions aiming at containing the Covid-19 outbreak.

While previous provisions issued for the so-called red and yellow zones continue to remain in place (you can read more about these here), the decree enacted yesterday extends certain measures to the entire territory of the Republic of Italy.

Among these measures, of primary importance is the fact that all schools, from kindergarten to universities, have been closed at least until 15 March 2020. Furthermore, until 3 April 2020, all congresses, meetings and gatherings of medical personnel and other individuals that carry out work for essential public services are prohibited.

Likewise, all gatherings where crowds may form as well as meetings and social events are strongly discouraged.

Yesterday’s decree also contains recommended behaviour that everyone should follow in order to avoid the virus from spreading:

  • Avoid hugs and shaking hands.
  • Stay at least 1 meter apart from one another.
  • Use disposable tissues when coughing or sneezing and throw them away immediately, avoiding contacts with hands and face.
  • Do not use someone else’s glass or water bottle.
  • Elders should remain indoors and away from crowds.

In addition to the above, the Italian Privacy Authority issued a note on 2 March 2020, with some additional directives:

  • Employers should not collect, in a systematic and generalized manner, information concerning employees’ health, especially for what concerns flu symptoms or the fact that employees may have come into contact with infected individuals.
  • At the same time, employees have the obligation to inform their employer of any situation that may cause danger to health and safety of others at the workplace.

Massimiliano (Max) Biolchini joined Baker McKenzie in January 1999. He became a local partner in the Milan office in 2004 and was elected partner in 2011. He is the Head of the Italian Employment Law Practice and is member of the Steering Committee of the EMEA Employment Practice Group. He advises clients on all aspects of labor and employment law. He regularly contributes to the employment section of the prestigious Italian business newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore.


Uberto Percivalle is a partner in the Firm’s Milan office, where he has practiced since 1990. He focuses on employment law.


Antonio Luigi Vicoli is counsel in the Employment & Compensation Practice Group of Baker McKenzie Italian offices. He is a multilingual lawyer with English proficiency. Antonio is professionally qualified under the laws of Italy and admitted to practice in Italy, enrolled with the Lawyers’ Bar of Milan.