Urgent measures to limit the COVID-19 spread in Italy

Update on March 25, 2020 โ€“ Visit the Refugee.Info website for updated information on the situation in Italy ๐Ÿ‘‰ https://bit.ly/2SxUFSR

Italy is now the worst-hit country after China. Since the first case of Coronavirus was detected on February 21 in Lombardy, the COVID-19 outbreak has rapidly spread across the country โ€“ despite the measures adopted by the Italian government to contain the risk of contagion.

Learn more about the COVID-19 and its symptoms here.

The situation

The Civil Protection Department reports that, as of March 12, the total number of cases that tested positive has risen to 15,113 in Italy. Of these 12,839 are currently infected, 1,258 have healed, and 1,016 died.

More than half of the people infected (8,725) are located in Lombardia โ€“ followed by Emilia-Romagna (1,947) and Veneto (1,384) โ€“ with Bergamo as the province with the highest number of positive cases (1,815).

๐Ÿ‘‡ This map shows how the COVID-19 outbreak looks in Italy. You can keep an eye on the situation here.

Source: Italian Civil Protection Department. 

Considering the highly-contagious nature of the COVID-19 and the limited number of beds available in the Intensive Care Units ('terapia intensiva' in Italian), Italian authorities highly recommend to stay at home and to avoid crowded places. However, this does not mean you're not allowed going out to buy groceries.

In order to prevent the further spreading of the virus, Italian authorities also forbid traveling inside and outside the country. Many countries are not currently allowing people coming from Italy to enter for fear of spreading the Coronavirus further. There are already cases confirmed in more than 118 countries around the world.

New set of stricter rules, enforced in the whole of Italy

Between 8th and 11th March, the Italian government approved a series of decree-laws that aim to mitigate โ€“ and eventually interrupt โ€“ the spread of COVID-19 by reducing the number of contacts that can result in disease transmission.

These countermeasure set out stricter rules to lockdown the entire country, not just the most affected areas of the country as decided in the first place. On March 9, the Premier Giuseppe Conte announced that the rules should apply to the entire country โ€“ starting from March 10, until April 3.

Here's a list of the main measures enforced to slow and reduce the negative effects of transmission:

๐Ÿ“ People are not allowed to enter, exit or move around the country, or from one comune to another, unless in case of proven necessity (for instance buying groceries, jogging, walking the dog), work (with the relevant certificate form your employer) or health (with the relevant documentation) reasons. People outside of their home-region will be permitted to return.

If you really need to go out, remember to print and bring along the self-certification. You can download the new version of the self-certification here.

If stopped by the police, you need to prove that your reasons are valid, otherwise it is considered a criminal offense (up to 3 months in jail or a up to 206 euro). ย 

๐Ÿ“ People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing need to seek early medical attention and avoid any social contact.

If you don't feel well and have flu-like symptoms stay at home. Do not go to the doctor or to the hospital. ย Call ๐Ÿ“ฒ the national and regional toll-free numbers available, you can find them ๐Ÿ‘‰ here ๐Ÿ‘ˆ.

Remember, in case of emergency you don't need valid documents to be treated in Italian hospitals. If you do not have a family doctor, you can also call the number made available by Mรฉdecins du Monde: +393510221390 โ€“ they answer in Italian, English and French.

๐Ÿ“ People tested positive to the Coronavirus or in quarantine must stay at home.

๐Ÿ“ Gatherings are forbidden in open spaces and public places.

This is probably why Commission dates and Questure appointments may be rescheduled, most likely after April 3.

Also civil and criminal proceedings (including asylum appealing procedures) are postponed after April 15, for now. Check with your lawyer for more details on your personal case.

๐Ÿ“ As of March 12, all commercial activities (such as bars, pubs, hairdressers, beauty shops) must stay closed until March 25. While, restaurants can only stay open for delivery.

Small groceries stores, supermarkets, pharmacies and para-pharmacies are allowed to stay open, but they need to guarantee the respect of the 1-meter distance between clients.

๐Ÿ“ Schools, universities, cultural centers, museums, cinemas, theaters, libraries, discos, pubs, gyms and swimming-pools are closed.

๐Ÿ“ Social and cultural events, as well as civil and religious ceremonies (including weddings and funerals) are suspended. Sport events are suspended too, including Serie A Championship.

๐Ÿ“ The Italian government also shared a list of basic measures to protect yourself and limit the risk of contagion. Prevention is very important, in fact there are no vaccines or approved treatments for COVID-19 at the moment.

Please take some time to read it carefully, and drop us ย ๐Ÿ“ฅ a private message if you have any questions.

The English version was translated by the RI Team. The original Italian version can be found here.

You can visit the dedicated website of the Italian Ministry of Health to get updates on the situation.

If you have any more questions about the virus have a look at the Q&A section on the WHO website.

๐Ÿ“ธ Cover image: Andrew Medichini/AP