Italy was assigned a new color code classification system in November 2020 classifying the Covid-19 criticality of each region. Red, Orange or Yellow indicate what kind of lockdown or shelter in place restrictions are implemented. Color codes are assigned by the government and Minister of Health and will depend on the degree of risk and local statistics reported in each region.
- Yellow, moderate criticality
- Orange, medium to high criticality
- Red, high alert
Update: February 1, 2021, Lombardy is in the Yellow zone
- yellow area : Abruzzo, Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Emilia Romagna, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Lazio, Liguria, Lombardy, Marche, Molise, Piedmont, Autonomous Province of Trento, Tuscany, Valle d’Aosta, Veneto;
- orange area : Autonomous Province of Bolzano, Puglia, Sardinia, Sicily, Umbria;
- red area : none.
Milan is in the yellow zone, what now?
Milan in Lombardy has been classified as yellow, a medium level alert area.
Although this decision is welcomed throughout Italy by both businesses and consumers during the pre-holiday season, it has also been criticized by health experts, especially those in regions where coronavirus cases are still significant and resources are limited.
However, while there are no “Red zones” at this time, further restrictions during the Christmas Holidays will be imposed regardless of the regional color zone classification.
Italy Yellow zone at a glance:
Open in the Italy Yellow Zones
- Schools for nursery, elementary and middle school levels
- High school and university laboratory or exams (all other learning is remote)
- Retail stores and boutiques
- Malls and shopping centers (weekdays)
- Hairdressers, brarbers, beauticians
- Restaurants, bars, cafes may remain open until 6 PM (take-away until 10pm is permitted)
- Private healthcare facilities
- Travel within town and town to town without self-sign declaration is permitted
- Public transportation limited to 80%.
Closed in the Italy Yellow Zones
- Malls and shopping centers (weekends/holidays)
- Pools and gyms (some exceptions for sport federation training)
- Museums, exhibitions, galleries, cinemas, and theatres
- Gaming, Bingo and betting centers
- Region to region travel is prohibited.
YELLOW ZONE MEASURES
From 10pm to 5am throughout Italy it is forbidden to leave your home except for work or warranted reason such as health or medical reasons. During the day travel is not restricted but it is still recommended to not travel or use public or private means of transport, except for work, study, or for health/medical purposes or necessity or to use services which have not been suspended (pharmacies, supermarkets, hairdressers, restaurants etc.) A self-signed declaration is not necessary.
Local Travel & Transportation
Yellow region travel is allowed, other region to region travel is prohibited except for warranted reasons such as work or for health. It is recommended to use the self-signed document stating your reasons for travelling from region to region, regardless of the color code. You do not need a self-signed declaration to move about from town to town within your region.
Public transport will remain operational and allow no more than 80% capacity.
Stores & Businesses
- Retail stores, malls and outlets are open. Malls, shopping centers and outlets will remain closed on weekends and holidays, except food stores, pharmacies, newsagents and tobacconists.
- Bars, pubs, restaurants, ice cream parlors, pastry shops may remain open until 6 PM: tables will be limited to 4 people per table, take-away is allowed up until 10 PM. Home delivery does not have a time limit.
- Hairdressers and beauticians are open. Private medical and care facilities remain open.
- Museum, galleries, theatres and cinemas are closed.
- Gaming, Bingo and Betting halls are closed.
- Industrial and commercial production may continue to do business, provided that all anti-covid protocols are respected.
Nursery schools, elementary schools and middle school (seconda media) are open for in class learning. Distance /online learning is mandatory for high schools and universities. Children older than six years of age will be required to wear masks in class.
Individual sport practice outdoors such as cycling, walking, jogging, individual yoga is allowed provided that you stay near your home. You must wear a mask and keep a one-meter distance from other people.
Parks and public gardens will remain open.
Amateur and team sports have been suspended. Only events and competitions which are organized on a national or international level and recognized by national sport associations CONI and CIP are allowed. Training for members of competitive sport federations is allowed. Contact your sport federation for more information. Events are to be held inside sports facilities behind closed doors or outdoors without the presence of the public.
Gyms, swimming pools, wellness centers, and spas are closed, as well as cultural centers, social centers and recreation centers, except for those defined as training centers or provide assistance, for example physiotherapy.
Airline travel is still in operation but is limited and discouraged.
Cruise and passenger ships have been suspended. Foreign-flagged cruise ships are permitted to enter Italian ports exclusively for the purpose of ‘idle’ parking.
All health measures may be susceptible to change and modification.
What to do if you suspect you have Covid-19:
- call your family doctor
- call the toll free Covid-19 hotline 1500
- find a covid-19 testing center near you*
**Covid-19 testing is covered by the public health system if you have a referral from your family doctor. Private testing is also available in hospitals and clinics.
For Covid-19 information and national updates consult the Italian Ministry of Health website
Article by Anthony Ryan, Easy Milano
A previous publication of this article (December 2020) also included information about Christmas. During the 2020 Christmas holiday, Lombardy was marked as a Yellow area with some special restrictions as stated below:
Yellow and Orange Zone Rules for Christmas 2020
The last government decree (DPCM) of December 3, will remain in force until January 15, but has also established some regulations that overrule the color coding decided for the individual regions, and imposes restrictions even in the yellow zones, which have more freedom.
To discourage travel and limit the spread of the COVID-19 infection during the holidays, the Italian government has banned all travel from 21 December to 6 January in all regions, except for proven, legitimate reasons for work, study, health or to return to one’s own home or residence. Additionally, travel is also restricted on Christmas day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.
Travel to see family or for tourism is allowed provided that you travel before Dec 21 and after January 7, and do not break the region-to-region laws by crossing color zones.
Travel to assist the elderly, others in need of assistance or children under 18 is allowed, provided that you have a self-signed certificate and only the person aiding the other is present.
Regarding Christmas and holiday meals and celebrations, Prime Minster Conte said, “In a free and democratic state it is impossible to enter homes and say how many people sit at the table.” It remains to be understood that the recommended number of people is 6 to 8 people at the table, including cohabitants and close relatives. Meals at restaurants will be limited to 4 people per table.
Churches will be holding masses in Italy. The traditional mid-night mass has been cancelled and many churches require reservations. Contact your church for service schedules and instructions on how to book your place.
Failure to abide by the law during the Christmas holidays may result in fines from €400 to €1,000.