Published: 17/12/2020 By The Abode TeamAfter days of drawn-out discussions, Italy's government has reportedly reached an agreement on further coronavirus restrictions to be enforced over the Christmas holidays. Though the government has not yet officially confirmed the new measures, most Italian newspapers now report that later on today the government will announce red zone restrictions across the country for eight days in total - from December 24th - 27th and then from December 31st - January 3rd. This means that on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, and the weekend immediately after, the highest-level restrictions would apply across the whole country. On the days in between, it is not yet clear whether orange or yellow zone restrictions will apply. More details should come in an official announcement from the Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte, expected this evening.
Red zone restrictions, the strictest possible in Italy, include ordering all non-essential shops to close as well as restaurants and bars, and forbidding travel within as well as to and from regions. People would be allowed to leave their homes for essential reasons only, such as work, medical appointments, or buying essentials. It is not yet known whether some allowances will be made over Christmas in order to allow limited visits to family living nearby. Declaring a red zone across Italy effectively amounts to a national lockdown, similar to that announced in March
In addition, Italy has already announced stricter limits on international and domestic travel from December 21st to January 6th. During that period, crossing between Italian regions is only allowed in emergencies and everyone arriving from overseas is subject to 14 days of quarantine. The further measures will be in addition to those already announced on December 3rd, amid fears of a third wave of infections being triggered over the holidays. Government ministers and health experts said stricter rules were needed as the contagion rate, while slowing, is still too high.