The office of the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has published the English version of FAQs. View original
CHANGES SINCE THE ORIGINAL 26 APRIL 2020 DECREE
What’s new since the 26 April decree?
The 26 April decree introduces, from the 4 May, a few new provisions, including for, example, the possibility of visiting one’s relatives who live in the same region and the reopening of public parks and gardens. However, these things are only possible as long as health measures are respected and people do not congregate (mayors can decide to temporarily shut parks again if it’s not possible to guarantee this). This means no picnics or barbecues! N.B. The Mayor of Rome has decided not to open beaches until after 17 May. The use of masks in enclosed spaces accessible to the public is mandatory (including on public transport and in shops). The new decree also establishes the obligation for those with respiratory symptoms and a temperature above 37.5 degrees to stay in their own homes. From 4 May, it will continue to be possible to engage in individual physical and sports activity, but also further away from one’s home; when conducting sports activities, an interpersonal distance of 2m must be respected. Professional solo sport athletes may also resume their training. Another important change is the possibility of holding funerals, with a maximum number of attendees set at 15 people, who must nonetheless wear masks. Preferably these should be held outdoors. From 4 May, take out will be allowed from restaurants, cafes, and similar businesses, in addition to the delivery services which have been allowed thus far. Several productive and industrial activities are restarting, mainly those geared towards exports; the manufacturing and construction sectors, as well as wholesale activities and related may resume as long as they respect workplace safety rules in force.
Can I go out to visit someone?
Visits are exclusively allowed to see one’s “congiunti” (see question 3) and fall into the category of journeys justified by ‘other needs.’ Nonetheless, it is strongly recommended that visits with people you don’t cohabit with are limited to the maximum extent, since this increases the risk of spreading COVID-19. Whenever such visits are undertaken, the following measures must be respected: avoid gatherings, an interpersonal distance of at least 1 meter must be maintained, and masks must be worn.
Who are considered to be “congiunti”, with whom we’re allowed to meet, according to Article 1, paragraph A of the 26 April 2020 decree?
The term “congiunti” refers to spouses, cohabiting partners, civil partners, people bound by a stable emotional bond (which does NOT include friends!), as well as family members up to the 6th degree (such as the children of cousins) and in-laws up to the 4th degree (such as your spouse’s cousins).
Can I travel to another Italian region to visit relations, spouses, long-term partners or loved ones?
No, you may travel to another Italian region solely for work requirements, health needs or absolutely urgent reasons.
Can I go out for a walk?
You can only leave your home to go to work, for health reasons, for other needs (the decree now includes visits to relatives), or for sports/other physical activity outside. Therefore, walks are only allowed when strictly necessary to carry out a journey justified by one of the motives just mentioned. For example, walks are justified to buy groceries, to buy newspapers, to go to the pharmacy, or, in other words, to buy essential goods or go to any open store. Furthermore, outings are justified for outdoor sport/other physical activity. It remains understood that justification for allowed journeys, in the event of checks, can be supplied with a self-certification form. Justification for work reasons can also be proven by showing adequate documentation provided by one’s employer (badges or similar). In any case, all journeys are subject to the general ban on gatherings, and therefore, the requirement to respect the minimum interpersonal distance of 1 meter.
Are there limits for persons with symptoms of a respiratory infection and a fever above 37.5 degrees?
Persons with such symptoms are required to stay in their own home, limit social contact as much as possible, and call their doctor.
Can I go out to buy goods other than foodstuffs?
Yes, but only to purchase products that fall into the categories of goods that are allowed to be sold according to the 26 April 2020 decree, listed in Annex 1 and Annex 2.
If I’m away from my home or residence, can I return to it?
Yes, the decree ensures that it is always allowed to return to one’s own primary home or residence, even if it is in a different region.
Once I have returned home as allowed in the 26 April 2020 decree, is it possible to travel to a region different from the one of my home?
The 26 April 2020 decree allows journeys between different regions exclusively where there are proven work needs, urgent need, or for health reasons. Therefore, one you have reached your own home, even if from a different region, journeys beyond the borders of your present region will not be allowed if they don’t fall under one of the above listed legitimate motives.
I have an underage child; can I accompany them to a public park, villa, or garden?
Yes. Access to public parks, villas, and gardens is allowed, subject to strict compliance with the ban on all forms of gatherings and an interpersonal distance of at least 1 meter. Playgrounds cannot be used as they remain closed according to the 26 April 2020 decree.
Is physical or sports activity allowed?
Outdoor physical or sports activities are allowed only if carried out individually, unless the persons are cohabiting. From 4 May, outdoor physical and sports activities will be allowed also further away from one’s own residence. A person may accompany minors or persons who are otherwise dependent. An interpersonal distance of 2 meters must be respected when engaging in sports activities, while 1- meter interpersonal distance must be observed for all other physical activity. In any case, gatherings are prohibited. With the aim of engaging in physical or sports activities, public or private means of transport may be used to reach the location intended for such activity. Sports or other physical activity may not be undertaken outside of one’s own region.
Can I ride my bike?
The use of one’s bike is allowed to reach work, home, or any stores which remain open. It is also allowed to carry out outdoor physical activity. In any case, the minimum interpersonal distance must be respected.
Can I go to the cemetery to pay respect to a deceased loved one outside of the context of a funeral?
Yes, you can visit the cemetery as long as it is within your own region and you respect the minimum interpersonal distance of 1 meter and the ban on gatherings. Like in parks, the ban on gatherings must be respected in cemeteries; where it’s not possible to guarantee that this is respected, the Mayor concerned may temporarily closed these areas. For the rules concerning funeral services, see question 1.
What are the rules governing international travel?
For information regarding international travel, please consult the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
Can I use public transport and how?
A. Use of public transport is restricted to a limited number of passengers to make sure that social distancing is maintained at all times. You are not allowed to board unless you are wearing a face mask or other mouth and nose-covering apparel. Detailed rules concerning use of public transport can be found in Annex 9 to the April 26 Decree. You must also follow the rules and instructions issued by the competent local authorities and public transport providers.
Can I attend a job interview or can self-employed professionals meet with potential clients?
A. Travel for work requirements is always allowed. However, it is strongly recommended to avoid meeting people you do not live with, as far as possible, and to adopt tele/video conferencing tools or the telephone for interviews or to talk with potential clients. If it is necessary to meet in person, you must always wear a face mask, or other mouth and nose-covering apparel at all times, maintain social distancing and adopt all the necessary measures for preventing gatherings, such as prior telephone appointments.
Which rules apply to the retailers who are allowed to open?
The rules for retailers are set out in Annex 5 (inserire link) to the April 26 Decree and include: strict observance, at all times, of the social distancing and personal and environmental hygiene rules, with sanitisation operations to be carried out at least twice a day on the premises, depending on the opening hours. Furthermore, the relevant contagion prevention measures must be applied at all times, such as allowing only one customer in at a time, in small establishments, or regulated and staggered access, in the larger establishments, ensuring that the staff wear face masks and gloves and that customers in supermarkets use hand sanitisers and disposable gloves, near the cash registers, check-out counters and card payment devices, and, where possible, providing for separate entry and exit points.
Can shops selling baby and children’s clothes also sell footwear for children?
Yes, the “baby and children’s clothes” category indicated in Annex 1 to the April 26 Decree also includes footwear.
Can shops and other retail outlets that sell goods other than groceries or basic essentials and which, therefore, are temporarily closed to the public, provide home delivery services and, if necessary, assembly and fitting services as well?
Yes, home delivery services are allowed, in accordance with the applicable health and safety regulations, with regard to both packaging and transportation, but the shops must remain closed to the public. The establishment or online delivery platform responsible for organising the delivery service must ensure that the social distancing rule of at least one metre, at delivery, is strictly observed. Essential goods are those listed in Annex 1 to the April 26 Decree. There are no restrictions regarding the sale of goods by means of vending machines.
Can shops and other retail outlets that sell goods other than groceries or basic essentials and which, therefore, are temporarily closed to the public, provide home delivery services?
Yes, home delivery services are allowed, in accordance with the applicable health and safety regulations, with regard to both packaging and transportation, but the shops must remain closed to the public. The establishment or online delivery platform responsible for organising the delivery service must ensure that the social distancing rule of at least one metre, at delivery, is strictly observed. There are no restrictions regarding the sale of goods by means of vending machines.
Are medium and large-sized shops in shopping centres and markets required to remain closed on pre-holidays and holidays?
No, there is no longer any difference between weekdays and holidays, nor is a distinction made between shops based on size. Therefore, supermarkets and hypermarkets and all other shops in shopping centres are allowed to open every day of the week, albeit only to sell the goods listed in Annex 1 to the April 26 Decree. Regarding indoor/outdoor markets, only food stalls, including those selling farm goods, are allowed to open. In any case, the social distancing rule of 1 metre must be strictly observed, at all times, also by means of staggered entry and other opening arrangements, and the formation of crowds and gatherings is strictly forbidden.
Are retail establishments allowed to sell all goods the manufacture of which is still authorised?
No. All retail activities are strictly regulated by Annex 1 to the April 26 Decree. The authorisation to manufacture goods, in accordance with Annex 3 to the said Decree (as updated), does not necessarily authorise their sale. However, Annex 1 also provides a list of authorised sales channels (online, TV, mail order, radio, telephone sales, vending machines).
Can restaurants and catering businesses provide drive-through services?
Yes, provided that social distancing of at least one metre is strictly observed at all times and that the food is taken away from the premises and that customers do not stop and form gatherings in the vicinity of the restaurant.
Are car dealers allowed to reopen on May 4?
Yes. Annex 3 to the April 26 Decree clearly provides that the business activities identified by the Ateco/Nace code 45 (and sub-categories), including 45.1 “Sale of motor vehicles”, are allowed to reopen. Therefore, customers can travel to a car dealer to purchase a vehicle, for motor vehicle safety and roadworthiness checks, to change tyres and other maintenance services.
I have a site for selling goods online. Can I continue selling my goods?
Yes, the sale of any goods online, or via other remote channels, is always allowed, in accordance with the rules governing retail businesses set out in Annex 1 to the April 26 Decree, also in light of the inclusion of the relevant Ateco/Nace codes of mail services, carriers and couriers among those exempted from closure.
In view of the fact that real estate activities, including property brokerage, are not included among the suspended activities, under the April 26 Decree, am I allowed to travel to an estate agent’s or visit a property for sale or to let?
Yes. However, estate agents may accompany a client to a property for sale or to let only if this is vacant or unoccupied.
MANUFACTURING, PROFESSIONAL & SERVICE ACTIVITIES
Which business sectors are allowed to reopen under the April 26 Decree?
Various manufacturing and construction businesses will be allowed to reopen on May 4, 2020, including the related wholesale supply chain operations. In detail, all the business activities listed in Annex 3 (link) to the April 26 Decree, including – inter alia – compared to the April 10 Decree, those relating to the textile, fashion, automotive, mining, furniture making industries. The list included in the Decree is comprehensive, in the sense that it is no longer necessary for prior notice to be given to the Prefect in order to carry out continuous production cycle manufacturing activities, aerospace and defence activities, including the essential processes, plants, materials, services and infrastructure for national security and public emergency and rescue operations, as well as all activities for ensuring the continuity of the manufacturing supply chains. Businesses whose activities have not been suspended shall, in any case, comply with the regulation protocols of the Covid-19 containment measures in workplaces (Annex 6), construction sites (Annex 7), the transport and logistics sector (Annex 8), expressly mentioned in article 2(6) of the April 26 Decree and to which they are attached. The failure to implement the protocols and to ensure adequate levels of protection shall entail the suspension of operations until adequate health and safety measures are put into place. Furthermore, businesses allowed to reopen on May 4, 2020, may carry out all preliminary activities prior to reopening from April 27, 2020.
Can artwork preservation and restoration activities continue?
Yes, all activities for restoring and preserving artworks, including paintings, frescoes, sculptures, mosaics, tapestries and archaeological finds may continue. These activities, in fact, are generally not included in the Ateco/Nace code 90.0 “Creative arts and entertainment activities”, but in the following Ateco/Nace codes, as set out in Annex 3 to the April 26 Decree, namely: the restoration of historical buildings and monuments (41.20), woodworking industry (16), architectural and engineering activities; technical testing and analysis (71) and other professional, scientific and technical activities (74), as well as the repair of movable goods (95).
Can the repair and maintenance staff of rolling stock and vehicles for railway and public transport companies continue working?
Yes. Repair and maintenance activities may continue to be carried out, as expressly authorised by Annex 3 to the April 26 Decree (Ateco/Nace code 33).
Are professional practices, including building management firms, required to remain closed if they operate as businesses?
All professional practices are allowed to continue operating, regardless of how they are carried out, because their nature prevails over their manner of performance. Article 2(2) of the April 26 Decree provides that a professional practice, even if suspended, may continue to operate provided that home or smart working arrangements have been adopted (which also applies to building management businesses).
Can only live-in domestic helpers, carers and babysitters continue working?
Domestic helpers, carers and babysitters may continue to work, regardless of whether they are live-in or live-out, because these services are included in Annex 3 to the April 26 Decree (Ateco/Nace code 97 – Activities of households as employers of domestic personnel).
I am not registered with the register of companies (registro delle imprese). Can I continue to operate my business?
It depends on the Ateco/Nace code of your business. Reference, in fact, must always be made to the authorised Ateco/Nace codes specified in Annex 3 to the April 26 Decree, as subsequently amended by ministerial decree. Therefore, you should look up the Ateco/Nace code of your core or prevalent or secondary business, in the taxpayer database of the Internal Revenue Agency (Agenzia delle Entrate).
Is work allowed to continue on building sites?
Yes. In this regard, it should be specified that Annex 3 to the April 26 Decree refers to “civil engineering” activities, identified by Ateco/Nace code 42, which includes, by way of example only, the construction of roads, motorways and airport runways, railways and underground railways, bridges and tunnels, public utility projects for the transportation of fluids and for electricity and telecommunications, the construction of water management works and the completion of public housing projects. On April 24, 2020, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport agreed to an ad hoc regulation protocol with the Ministry of Labour and Welfare, Anci, Upi, Anas S.p.a., R.F.I., ANCE, Alleanza della Cooperative, Feneal-Uil, Filca-CISL and Fillea-CGIL, for the containment of the spread of COVID-19 in building construction sites, the text of which is attached to the Decree as Annex 7.
AGRICULTURE, LIVESTOCK BREEDING AND FISHING
Can I carry out farming and forestry activities, including cutting firewood, even outside the Commune of residence, for self-consumption purposes only?
Yes, farming and forestry activities for self-consumption purposes are included in Ateco/Nace codes “0.1.” and “02” and are, therefore, allowed, in which case you must specify, in the self-certification form, for subsequent verification, that you own the farmland or woodland and that you use it for self-consumption only, and indicate the shortest route there and back. However, you must bear in mind that wood cutting activities are allowed to continue only if the competent Region or Autonomous Province has extended the relevant wood cutting period. Of course, you may also engage the services of a professional for this task, in which case you must observe the applicable health and safety and COVID-19 contagion prevention measures.
Do I always need to carry a self-certification form even to engage in outdoor sports activities or simple physical exercise?
No, this is not necessary. You may, however, be requested to fill in the form given to you, if and when you are stopped and checked by the competent law enforcement authorities.
Can I practice individual sports activities outdoors only? Or can I go to the gym/swimming pool?
All gyms, health clubs and other sports facilities, such as swimming pools, are closed to the public, for the time being. Only professional athletes and athletes of national interest are allowed to train individually, behind closed doors, and, in any case, provided that this does not cause any gatherings, as a result of a large number of individuals training at the same time inside a confined indoor space, and that social distancing of at least two metres is strictly maintained at all times.The dressing rooms and shower facilities may be used by no more than one person at a time.
I own /am responsible for taking care of a horse. Can I exercise the horse outdoors, by myself, within or in the vicinity of the stables (enclosed training areas, paddocks, fields, countryside, trails, etc.), in accordance with article 1(f) of the April 26 Decree?
You may exercise or ride the horse, temporarily or otherwise, in an outdoor facility, provided that you strictly maintain social distancing of at least 2 metres at all times (article 1(1)(f) of the April 26 Decree). At present, horse riding centres and clubs are still closed for all other regular social activities.
Can I practice surfing, canoeing, kayaking, on my own?
Short board, long board, sup wave, sup race, wakeboard surf and water skiing are classed as physical and sports activities, within the meaning of article 1(f) of the April 26 Decree, and may, therefore, be practised, provided however that you are strictly on your own and observe the relevant health and safety rules, at all times. Remember that gatherings of any kind are strictly forbidden before, during and after the activities, or while entering / leaving the relevant sports facility or area.
Can I take my dog to a dog gym?
No. Dog gyms, like all other sports clubs and facilities, are required to remain closed.
Can I practice my yoga, Pilates, posture exercises in a park or other public outdoor area?
Yes, provided that you do so strictly on your own and observe the relevant health and safety rules and maintain social distancing of at least two metres at all times. Remember that gatherings of any kind are strictly forbidden before, during and after your exercise, or while entering/leaving the park or other outdoor public area. Failure to comply with these rules may result in the local authorities ordering the temporary closure of the park or other outdoor area. Gyms and sports clubs are still required to remain closed.
Can I practice sport fishing?
Yes, given that this is classed as an individual sport. However, you must always follow the general rules that apply to all sports activities and travel (see the FAQs).
Can exam and graduation sessions be held?
Yes, provided that it is possible to implement the necessary arrangements, with regard to the organisation of the premises and of work activities, for ensuring social distancing and preventing gatherings, in accordance with the prevention and protection measures set out in the April 26 Decree. If it proves impossible to implement these measures, or if the presence of students is not required, teleconferencing arrangements may be made, in which case the necessary publicity measures must be adopted.
Are there any changes regarding research and higher training activities allowed (such as traineeships, experimental research and laboratory and/or teaching activities and exercise)?
These activities may be resumed, provided that it is possible to implement the necessary arrangements, with regard to the organisation of the premises and of work activities, for ensuring social distancing and preventing gatherings, in accordance with the prevention and protection measures set out in the April 26 Decree. If it proves impossible to implement these measures, or if the presence of students and/or researchers is not required, teleconferencing arrangements may be made.