The Coronavirus situation in Italy

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Published 2020-03-16 08:29

 

The Coronavirus outbreak has had the world holding its breath since the beginning of this year. While China has managed to minimize the spread of the virus, Italy is now the most affected countries of all and has been under lockdown since the 9th of March in order to contain the virus.

Despite the lockdown, however, the number cases keep increasing. At the time we publish this, Italy counts a total of 24,747 positive cases, including 1,809 deaths and just over 2,000 recoveries, since the beginning of the outbreak.

The main centers of the epidemic within Italy remain the regions of Lombardy and Emilia-Romagna- and particularly the provinces of Bergamo, Brescia, Cremona, Milan and Lodi, where cases are reaching new highs everyday. Hospitals and medical centres  in Lombardy are already struggling to accommodate the amount of patients infected. The relevant authorities are actively looking for ways to provide the best healthcare possible and doctors have been on the ground day and night. A team of specialists from China has also arrived with respiratory assistance, masks and other medical equipment to try and help in the most affected regions.

The country on lockdown since March 9

The country had to react drastically, seeing the number of cases increasing sharply. Since March 5, schools and all educational activities have been closed and public gatherings banned. Companies had already been strongly advised to allow employees to work from home as much as possible, before the official quarantine decree by Italian Prime Minister on March 9.

All Italians and residents have been asked to remain at home unless for absolute necessities like getting grocery, supplies from pharmacies, work or medical reasons. Failure to comply with these rules, set out in the government decree, can incur three months' imprisonment or a fine of up to € 206.

Self-certification has been made available to citizens, which they must complete and present in the event of an inspection regarding the reason for leaving their homes. You can find the relevant document via this link.

In addition, all shops have been closed except for pharmacies and drugstores, food stores, banks, insurance, and public transport services. An interpersonal safety distance of 1 meter must be respected at all times (except for people living on the same roof).

Important:

These measures have been taken until April 3, but that date could be moved in case the virus continues to spread.

Can we get out of the country? What about airports?

At the moment, borders shared with neighboring countries remain open, but flight traffic has dropped sharply and many airlines have canceled their flights, especially in the most affected areas.

By decree of the government, only one airport is now open per region. For example, the airports of Milan Linate, Verona, Florence and even Rome Ciampino are closed until further notice.

It is therefore, for the time being, still possible to enter and leave the country, but in a restricted way and the security measures must be followed in the airport and the plane, that is, wearing a mask and keeping the safety distance in particular. It is also advisable to stay in quarantine for 14 days after your trip to Italy and to notify your doctor.

Different countries have put restrictions on flights from Italy in place, so it is highly recommended to follow the updates from your home country and your airline. Foreign citizens are in no case prohibited from leaving Italian territory for the time being.

What if you had plans to move to Italy soon?

Regarding expats-to-be, given the current very critical situation, it is strongly advised not to enter the country at this time. The spread of the Coronavirus is rapid and no region is currently spared. We remind you that especially in the regions of Lombardy and Emilia-Romagna, the hospitals are overcrowded and coming to the country could bring an additional risk which neither the country nor you need.

In case you are meant to start studying, we remind you that schools and universities are closed for the time being until April 3. And for those who are meant to begin working in an Italian company, we recommend that you contact your manager as well as your embassy to get an update from them.

While waiting for better days, Italians, of a cheerful nature, are organizing daily sing-outs at their windows and balconies. Pop music, National anthems and traditional Italian music… no one is spared. A way for the country to be together despite the distance and to keep the moods upbeat.

As the Italians often say “Andrà Tutto Bene” (everything will be fine).

Article translated from Le Coronavirus en Italie…