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Up-dated Christmas restrictions in arrival?

Published: 15/12/2020 By The Abode Team

Here is how the Coronavirus situation currently stands but bear in mind it may well be tweaked in the next day or two. 

From December10th-20th: 

All travellers from the EU, Schengen Zone or the UK must get tested before departure, or face quarantine. This includes Italian residents returning to Italy from other EU countries. Arrivals to Italy from non-EU/Schengen countries between December 10th-20th will be subject to a two-week quarantine.

From December 21st to January 6th:

All travellers arriving in Italy, including from EU countries, must undertake a two-week quarantine. Cruises are also banned from stopping in or departing from Italy during this period. Travel is also restricted within Italy. No "non-essential" travel is allowed between regions, regardless of their colour under the tiered system.

On December 25th and 26th and January 1st:
Non-essential travel is banned between towns or comuni across the country.

On New Year's Eve, December 31st, the evening curfew will remain in place and will be extended until 7am (rather than 5am) on New Year's Day.

From January 7th-15th all travellers from the EU, Schengen Zone or the UK must get tested before departure, or face quarantine. Italian ministers say Italy will start to "reopen" from January 7th.

However, further restrictions are now expected, on top of those announced on December 3rd, after ministers sounded the alarm over crowds in city centres and health authorities said the coronavirus infection rate is still worryingly high. “We have already prepared a plan specifically for the Christmas holidays. We are thinking about it," Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte told reporters following a government meeting with scientific experts on Monday. "We must avert a third wave at all costs."

Conte met with the CTS (Technical Scientific Committee), the government's advisory panel of health and scientific experts, to discuss further measures after ministers said crowds in cities this weekend were "unacceptable". Italian media over the weekend showed photos of city centres thronged with people, as restrictions were eased in several regions and many bars and restaurants reopened for the first time in weeks. Italian health authorities meanwhile warned that the rate of new infections in the country is still worryingly high. As a result, ministers say, they're looking at retightening the rules over Christmas.

"We are discussing the two weeks over  the Christmas holidays," Health Minister Roberto Speranza told reporters on Monday. "I hope that further measures can be taken in a short time to avert a hypothetical third wave". Italian media speculates that the government could be about to introduce tough measures similar to those just announced in Germany - but ministers have said the situation in Italy is not comparable. "In Italy the contagion curve is in a decreasing phase, while in Germany it is rising," pointed out regional affairs minister Francesco Boccia on Monday. However, he added: "We must be strict during the holidays".

According to unconfirmed reports in Italian media, the government may be considering declaring the whole of Italy a red or orange zone, creating a "de facto lockdown" over the holidays, with restrictions on travel and business openings. The most likely hypothesis, according to Italian news agency Ansa, is that Italy could be declared an orange zone over the holiday period, leaving shops open but restaurants closed.

An announcement is expected by Wednesday, according to Italian media reports, as discussions continue between ministers and the CTS.Scientific experts reportedly told government ministers on Monday afternoon that tighter restrictions are needed. Tracing systems and hospitals are struggling to cope as infection rates remain high, according to the Higher Health Institute's most recent weekly health data report. Data showed that the incidence of new infections was 193 per 100,000 people. It needs to be 50 per 100,000 to guarantee effective tracing, the report said. Healthcare infrastructure is struggling in around half of the country, the report notes, while the death toll also remains worryingly high. As things currently stand, Italy will impose stricter limits on international and domestic travel from December 21st to January 6th, with everyone arriving from overseas subject to 14 days of quarantine and crossing between Italian regions only allowed in emergencies.