Italy is facing a severe outbreak of the COVID-19 emergency, which has forced the authorities do adopt heavy measures to face the crisis and avoid the collapse of the national health system. Since the beginning, the Government has decided to share every decision with the population and knowledge and awareness among the citizens have been spread thanks to the constant succession of detailed medial bulletins and press releases. As a result, not only Italians but also foreign citizens who have chosen Italy as their country of residence or business are responding with seriousness and great responsibility to the huge sacrifices requested by the authorities.
In the last month, several restrictive measures have been adopted by the Italian Government in order to contain and manage the spreading of the virus, ultimately resulting in the extension of the lockdown, originally envisioned only for the Lombardy region, to the whole of Italy. On 11th of March 2020, a new ministerial decree has been adopted, providing the closure of all those commercial activities which do not provide essential services.
According to the scheme, until April 3, all public gatherings are banned and travel is only allowed for “urgent, verifiable work situations, emergencies or health reasons”, while the rule recommended is to stay at home and not leave the houses. In any event, everyone who has the need to travel not only within the country but also outside, will need to prove the urgent reasons behind the transfer, by fulfilling a self-declaration attesting the origin and destination of the travel as well as its purpose. Police officers, by the conduct of random checks, are entitled to verify the authenticity and reliability of what has been declared. A failure to provide it or going out with no valid emergency reason will result into a fine, with more serious consequences (up to three months in jail) for those who break the law.
That being said, public transportations including airlines, trains and buses may continue to operate, although with reduced frequency, in order to guarantee transport to those who have necessity to travel. Temperature screenings have been expanded to all air travellers upon arrival on all international, European and domestic flights arriving in Italy’s airports.
That being said, although the new measures do not allow entry in the country for touristic reasons, those tourists who are present in the country are entitled to travel only in order to return to their place of residence or domicile, since these are considered motivated reasons to move. In any event, it is recommended to contact also your foreign Embassy in Italy in order to have more information about a possible repatriation to your home country.
Eventually, as the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) suggests, all travellers are called to act responsibly to protect themselves and others, by following the recommendations issued by the competent authorities and in case travel is essential, it is important to stay at home for at least 14 days upon return in your country, monitoring your health and practice social distancing, which also means maintaining a security distance from other when possible.