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Italy – Measures that Put Country in Lockdown Extended to 13 April

Italy – Measures Extend Country Lockdown to 13 April

The Italian government issued another urgent Decree-Law on 1 April 2020, which extends until 13 April 2020, current restrictions on travel and movement and health/hygiene/social distancing policies. In addition, this will have consequences for closures and reduced activities of most public offices/agencies dealing with matters related to tax, social security, immigration, and others.

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Italy has been in a lockdown situation for nearly four weeks.  With the coronavirus and COVID-19 continuing to significantly impact Italy’s population and economy, the Italian government issued another urgent Decree-Law on 1 April 20201, which extends until 13 April 2020, current restrictions on travel and movement and health/hygiene/social distancing policies, as the government strives to prevent the virus from further permeating the Italian population.

WHY THIS MATTERS

The measures extend the period of quarantining of the whole country and continue the severe restrictions on internal travel within Italy.  Anyone travelling may be subjected to questioning by the police and asked to self-certify the purpose of their trips.

Closure and reduced activities of most public offices/agencies will affect public services in the areas of tax, social security, immigration, and others.

Until the government decides it is safe to rescind or roll-back current policies, extensive remote working is a “best practice” for employees and is a way for employers to foster the safety of their employees and help ensure business continuity. 

Public Offices’/Agencies’ Activities – Work and Residence Permits, Citizenship Requests

Most of Italy’s public offices in charge of tax, immigration, and social security will remain closed or with reduced hours/services, with the extension of the general lockdown in the country to 13 April. 

Ongoing Measures and Public Authorities

  • The need to continue practicing social distancing has been determining the level of operations of various public services, and, consequently, the suspension of the following activities:
    • Internal processing activities for requests of work permits already filed;    
    • Issuance of approved work permits;          
    • Internal processing activities for applications already filed;
    • Issuance of approved resident permits;
    • Applications for the issuance of the first resident permit;
    • Applications for renewals of residence permits;      
  • Generally speaking, all the authorisations and administrative provisions coming from the Ministry of Domestic Affairs have been put on hold for the noted period including:
    • internal activities related to requests for obtaining Italian citizenship;
    • renewal of expiring resident permits – resident permits expiring before 15 June have been (automatically) extended until 15 June, and renewal will be possible after 15 June.
  • Public offices and agencies have considerably reduced their activities and are discouraging attending appointments for non-urgent matters, many are closed.

For prior coverage, see GMS Flash Alert 2020-053, 10 March 2020.

Other Measures in Force

Here is a recap of the other rules/policies that have been extended to 13 April:

  • Going out of one’s residence (house, apartment, etc.) is only allowed for provable urgent needs (essential work, buying food, or going to pharmacies) which may be verified by the police in case of checks;2
  • A self-declaration must be kept in your pocket certifying the urgent reason;
  • Heavy sanctions exist for those who breach such rules;
  • Trips where an individual leaves Italy are highly discouraged and, when necessary, they may also be affected by travel bans imposed by other countries, airlines limited schedules and reduced services, and the checks made by the authorities (police, border police, airlines officers who have the right to deny access to the airplane);3
  • All people coming to Italy are subject to a quarantine period of fourteen (14) days;
  • The authorities may at their discretion extend Short-Term Schengen Visas depending on where an individual is unable to leave Italian territory due to travel restrictions.

The Schengen agreement is still in force in Italy, but stricter controls happen at the borders.  

What Happens after 13 April?

The government continues to assess the situation and if necessary may introduce other rules depending on its review of the situation as the end of the lockdown, 13 April, nears. 

KPMG NOTE: TO SUM UP

  • Immigration-related activities and citizenship-related activities and have been put on hold until 13 April 2020.
  • Processing timing for matters handled by public offices/agencies can increase.
  • Current resident permits expiring before 15 June are extended until 15 June.  Renewals are possible after 15 June.
  • Going out of one’s residence (house, apartment, etc.) and leaving the country are highly discouraged and only admissible for provable urgent needs based on the authorities’ assessment. 

FOOTNOTES

Decreto del Presidente del Consiglio dei Ministri 1 aprile 2020 – Disposizioni attuative del decreto-legge 25 marzo 2020, n. 19, recante misure urgenti per fronteggiare l'emergenza epidemiologica da COVID-19, applicabili sull'intero territorio nazionale. (20A01976) (Gazzetta Ufficiale n.88 del 2-4-2020)

See the news release (in Italian) announcing the new Decreto Legge on the website of the Ministero della Salute.  Also, see a related news release on the ministry’s website. 

2  For related information (in Italian), see the website of the Dipartimento della Protezione Civile.  Also see the website (in Italian) of the Ministero della Salute website

3  See “Focus: Cittadini Italiani in rientro dall’estero e cittadini stranieri in Italia” on the website of the Ministero degli Affari Esteri della Cooperazione Internazionale.  

*  Please note that KPMG LLP (U.S.) does not offer immigration services or labour law services. However, KPMG Law LLP in Canada can assist clients with U.S. immigration matters.

The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in Italy.

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