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In brief

On March 2, 2021 the Italian government enacted a new decree, in relation to COVID-19 measures. These provisions come into force on March 6, 2021 and will apply until April 6, 2021.


The new decree provides for the following measures:

MANUFACTURING, COMMERCIAL AND PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES.

On the entire territory of Italy, all manufacturing and commercial activities must comply with the provisions in the protocol dated April 24, 2020, which contains measures aimed at avoiding the spread of COVID-19 at the workplace (you can read more about this protocol here).

Furthermore, until April 30, 2021, the new decree explicitly recommends the use of remote working, which can be implemented by means of a simplified procedure.

The new decree also provides the following:

  • stores and shops can be open provided that (i) interpersonal distancing of at least one meter is met at all times, (ii) access to stores is spaced out, as a means to avoid crowds within the store and (iii) customers only remain in the store for the time strictly necessary to purchase items. Stores and shops must also implement any additional health and safety protocol applicable to their business sector.
  • medium and large stores must stay closed on holidays, if they are located inside malls. Such restrictions do not apply to businesses identified as essential (i.e. pharmacies, health centers, grocery stores, tobacco shops, newsstands and bookshops).
  • restaurants are open from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. A maximum of 4 people from the same family or who live together may sit at each table. The following activities are allowed without time restrictions: (i) restaurants inside hotels, limited to customers who stay overnight; (ii) home-delivery services in compliance with health and hygiene regulations regarding both packaging and transport activities; (iii) the sale of food and beverage located in service areas along highways, in hospitals and in airports, with the obligation to assure compliance with health and safety protocols. Furthermore, take-away is allowed until 10 p.m. but it is prohibited to eat in the restaurant or outside of it. For bars, take-away is allowed until 6 p.m. only.
  • public and private training courses can only take place remotely

RESTRICTIONS AT A REGIONAL LEVEL

The new decree modifies the regional restrictions already in place and introduces new regulations for “low-risk” regions. The Ministry of Health monitors the level of risk and classifies regions into different risk categories.

Until March 27, 2021, no interregional mobility is allowed on the entire territory of Italy. Travel will still be allowed at this time for the following reasons: work, absolute urgency, health needs, study, or returning to one’s domicile, home or place of residency.

Low-risk regions: These include all regions where the weekly incidence of infection, for three consecutive weeks, is less than 50 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. These areas do not apply the restrictive measures provided for “medium-risk” regions; however, the basic measures to prevent infection (i.e. compulsory face masks and safety distance) remain in place. Events such as fairs, congresses, discos and stadium audiences are suspended.

Medium-risk regions: From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. it is prohibited to travel within the region, with the exception of mobility for proven work, necessity or health reasons. Movements to a private home can be made once a day, between 5 a.m. and 10 p.m. Museums and cultural sites are open from Monday to Wednesday and, from March 27, 2021, service is also guaranteed on Saturday and Sunday, provided that a reservation is made. Sporting activities are allowed within the safety distances, while gyms, swimming pools, spas and wellness centers are suspended.

High-risk regions: It is prohibited to travel in and out of these regions; within the region, it is also prohibited to move away from the territory of the municipality in which one resides. The only exceptions to these rules are mobility that is justified by proven work, study or health reasons, or to return to one’s domicile. However, it is possible to travel from small municipalities (with a population of less than 5,000 inhabitants) to other municipalities within a range of 30 kilometers, excluding provincial capitals.

Restaurants must remain closed, but home delivery is allowed with no time limits as well as take-away until 10 p.m. For bars, take-away is allowed until 6 p.m. only.

Very-high risk regions: It is prohibited to travel in and out of these regions; within the region, it is also prohibited to move away from the territory of the municipality in which one resides. The only exceptions to these rules are mobility that is justified by proven work, study or health reasons, or to return to one’s domicile.

Stores must stay closed, except for essential businesses (you can find the list of these essential businesses in Italian here).

Restaurants must stay closed, but home delivery is allowed with no time limits as well as take away until 10 p.m. For bars, take-away is allowed until 6 p.m. only.

However, each region can implement different restrictions depending on how serious the spread of the virus is in the area.

RESTRICTIONS ON INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL

Anyone entering Italy must sign a declaration confirming which foreign countries and territories they have stayed in or transited through in the previous 14 days.

Entry and transit in Italy is only allowed for reasons related to work, absolute urgency, health needs and study purposes, to anyone who, in the previous 14 days, has transited through or stayed in non-Schengen countries with the exclusion of Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Thailand, and Uruguay. Everyone arriving in Italy for these reasons, including those from the above-listed countries, must use private means of transportation to reach their home and must quarantine for 14 days.

Anyone entering Italy from a Schengen country, or who has stayed in a Schengen country in the previous 14 days, must have tested negative to a swab test 48 hours prior to their entry in Italy; otherwise, they must quarantine for 14 days.

Entry is prohibited for individuals who have transited through or stayed in the UK in the previous 14 days, except if they were residents in Italy before December 23, 2020 or if it is absolutely necessary to enter the country. In these cases, they will be required to (i) have tested negative to a swab test 72 hours prior to their entry into the country, or do a swab test at the border crossing point (or within 48 hours after entry), as well as (ii) self-quarantine for 14 days, regardless of the test results.

Entry into Italy is also prohibited for individuals who have transited through or stayed in Brazil in the previous 14 days, except for individuals residing in Italy or with children under the age of 18 living in Italy and members of EU/international organizations. In these cases, they will be required to (i) have tested negative to a swab test 72 hours prior to their entry into the country, or do a swab test at the border crossing point (or within 48 hours after entry), as well as (ii) self-quarantine for 14 days, regardless of the test results, and (iii) swab test at the end of quarantine.

Anyone who entered the country and has transited through or stayed in Austria in the previous 14 days will be required to (i) have tested negative to a swab test 48 hours prior to their entry into the country, or do a swab test at the border crossing point (or within 48 hours after entry), as well as (ii) self-quarantine for 14 days, regardless of the test results, and (iii) swab test at the end of quarantine.

There is no compulsory swab test for children under 2 entering Italy.

Author

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.

Author

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

Author

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.