On 1 March 2020, the Italian Council of Ministers enacted a Decree (the document, in Italian, can be found here) with new provisions aimed at containing and managing the Covid-19 emergency. In particular, this Decree provides for different measures that apply to specific areas of the country. As a follow-up to the newsletter we issued last week, below is a summary of the main provisions contained in this new Decree.

1. Measures that apply to the so-called red zone (the following municipalities currently fall in this area: Bertonico, Casalpusterlengo, Castelgerundo, Castiglione D’Adda, Codogno, Fombio, Maleo, San Fiorano, Somaglia, Terranova dei Passerini, Vò):

  • (a) quarantine remains in force for all residents
  • (b) public offices and stores remain closed
  • (c) transportation of goods and people is suspended
  • (d) all other business activities continue to be suspended
  • (e) exhibitions and events are suspended

However, the activities referred to under points (b), (c) and (d) are allowed if they are essential public services.

2. Measures for the so-called "yellow zone" (i.e., Lombardy Region (where Milan is located), Veneto Region, Emilia-Romagna Region, the Province of Pesaro-Urbino and the Province of Savona):

  • (a) exhibitions and events, including those in private venues open to the public, are suspended;
  • (b) public and private tenders are suspended;
  • (c) leave periods for medical and technical personnel, necessary to manage the crisis, are suspended;
  • (d) commercial activities like stores and bars can open, provided that measures enabling clients to respect a one-meter distance from each other are implemented;
  • (e) video and audio conferencing is encouraged for meetings and gatherings;
  • (f) in the provinces of Bergamo, Lodi, Piacenza and Cremona: medium- and large-sized shops and shops inside malls (with the exception of pharmacies, health stores and food stores), are closed on Saturdays and Sundays;
  • (g) in the Lombardy Region and in the Province of Piacenza: gyms, sports centres, swimming pools, wellness centres and spas are closed (with very limited exceptions). 

3. Measures that apply to the entire territory of Italy:

  • (a) Anyone who has been to the so-called red zone (as defined above) since February 14, 2020, must inform the competent local health authority and their family doctor. Employers may also ask employees, suppliers and visitors for information about their recent travels and those of their family members in order to assess whether it is necessary to remove them from the workplace.
  • (b) Smart-working can be used in a simplified manner, without the need of a specific agreement. The employer must nonetheless comply with the following obligations:
    • (i) send a health and safety notice to the employee - a template of this notice can be found on the INAIL (i.e., Italian Institute for Insurance against Accidents at Work) website;
    • upload a self-certification on the "Cliclavoro" website to certify that smart-working is in use. Failure to do this may result in the application of an administrative fine ranging from Euro 100.00 to Euro 500.00 for each employee on smart-working.
  • (c) Prevention measures aiming at limiting the spread of the risk are confirmed and include: washing hands frequently (hand disinfectants should be available in all rooms), avoiding close contact with people with flu-like symptoms, paying attention to surface hygiene, etc.

The above measures apply from 2 March until 8 March 2020 (safe for further extensions). The previously decrees on the Covid-19 outbreak, enacted last week, are replaced and superseded by the one in comment.

Additional, upcoming employment-related measures

On 29 February 2020, the Government approved another Decree with additional, emergency support measures for families, employees and companies. This Decree will come into force once published on the Official Gazette.

The main provisions in this Decree are:

  • (i) suspension of all deadlines for payment of contributions in the so-called "red zone";
  • (ii) social shock absorber: possibility for companies located in the "red zone" (or for employees residing in the so-called "red zone" who are unable to commute to work outside said zone) to apply for the so-called Cassa Integrazione through a simplified procedure and with more beneficial terms, without having to consult with the unions and for a maximum period of 3 months.

Over the next few days, the above measures may be extended to the so-called "yellow zone".

Information about travelling to and from Italy

Inbound travel to Italy

  • To date, there are no particular restrictions on arrivals and departures, except for the suspension of direct flights from and to the People's Republic of China.
  • Some countries discourage trips to Italy or to the areas where the virus is already widespread.

Outbound travel from Italy

  • For trips of Italians abroad, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has set up a specific website, where:
    • information about countries where the virus is already widespread can be found;
    • personal ID and itineraries can be uploaded as a way to provide assistance as quickly as possible if in need.
  • Some countries have adopted measures that partially or totally restrict entry for people arriving from Italy.
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