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Italy – Status of Reopening Country, Work and Resident Permits Extended

Italy – Status of Reopening Ctry, Work & Res Permits

This GMS Flash Alert looks at the steps the Italian government is taking, though very gradual, to reopen the country, with some businesses allowed to reopen and some travel restrictions slightly eased. Furthermore, a new law will extend the validity of soon-to-expire resident and work permits through 31 August 2020.

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Italy’s government published a Decree-Law containing some initial measures for a reopening of the country.1  The government has taken this step, as it grows cautiously optimistic about the gradual but steady improvement of the general situation related to the COVID-19 emergency in Italy.  

Another law, just published, extends the validity of work permits and resident permits until 31 August 2020. 2

WHY THIS MATTERS

Reopening the country is an important matter for the Italian government, but this is being managed carefully so that allowed activities and new government policies enabling the reopening do not lead to a new outbreak of contagion.  Although some forms of economic activity will be allowed and certain shops will be allowed to open, substantial restrictions on travel will remain in force, especially travel between Italy’s regions.  

These are small first steps, as the situation, though improving, is tenuous still.  

For organisations with globally-mobile employees, it is, at this point, a “wait and see” situation for the most part.  This phase of the country’s reopening will have little impact on them.  Indeed, until such time as the government decides it is safe to rescind or in a bigger way roll-back current restrictions, extensive remote working is a “best practice” for globally-mobile employees, to the extent possible, and is a way for employers to foster the safety of their employees and help ensure business continuity.

The anxieties of those individuals holding resident and work permits that are due to expire should be allayed by the government’s move to extend the validity of such resident permits and work permits, for many categories, up through 31 August 2020.

Slight but Gradual Reopening of the Country

  • Entering and moving across the country will still be restricted, except to allow for urgent situations (health reasons and urgent -work related reasons). However, it will now be possible to return to one’s main place of residence also when this is in a different region (no other reasons are allowed for such trips or movements).
  • People subject to self-isolation or resulted as positive to Covid-19 may not move from their accommodation.
  • Social distancing and working from home continue and, with the exception of “essential workers,” remains mandatory now, but also for the so-called “phase 2” that will start 4 May. Therefore, most public offices and agencies are not yet open to the public.  They are being encouraged to begin creating safe work-spaces and formulating safe work practices, consistent with the existing rules, so as to help ensure safe working places/activities for public employees.
  • Moving for non-essential reasons will be still prohibited.  Prohibitions will also remain in place for gatherings in private and public spaces (e.g., company meetings, training events, social events, and other sizeable gatherings, etc.).

Extension of Resident and Work Permits

Generally speaking, the validity of existing resident permits, work permits, and related documents – implying the right to stay in Italy (which would have expired) – has been extended until 31 August 2020.  This applies, amongst others, to work permits and resident permits issued for highly-specialised and highly-skilled workers (including also the EU Blue Card and ICT).  Expiring family authorisations and resident permits for family reasons have been extended until 31 August 2020 as well.

The terms to apply for a work permit and for the conversion of resident permits for seasonal work and those from study to “subordinate work” are extended to 31 August 2020.  

Processing activities related to pending applications for work permits and resident permits will depend both on national law that still encourages smart working and on the internal organisation of each authority involved.

(For related coverage, see GMS Flash Alert 2020-045, 4 March 2020.)

Entering and Transiting in Italy

  • Travelers entering Italy (for example, Italian citizens or residents returning from abroad) shall provide the airline or train service they are using with a specific self-certification for the trip that contains proof of the urgent, well-detailed, and justified reasons for returning to Italy, an address where they are going in Italy, and then commit to spending 14-days in self-isolation; plus they must provide a phone number where they can be reached.  Such documents and the details contained therein will be verified by the authorities.
  • Just before embarking, passengers will have their body temperature measured, and their supporting documents will be checked before being allowed to travel.
  • A self-certification can be requested for purposes of a check during any individual’s movement.
  • When it is not possible to reach the address declared in the self-certification using a private means of transport, a suitable location for the self-isolation will be assigned by the Civil Protection and costs will be charged to the traveler.
  • All travelers coming to Italy (using either public or private means of transport) must inform the competent local health authority having jurisdiction for the destination location in advance about the address where the quarantine will be served out.

(For related coverage, see GMS Flash Alert 2020-178, 16 April 2020.)

Quarantine for Those Arriving in Italy

  • Quarantine is mandatory for all people arriving in Italy, regardless of the means of transport taken (aircraft, boat, car). In case of extremely urgent work-related trips, quarantine can be postponed for no longer than 72 hours (plus a further 48 hours, if necessary) after arrival to fulfil such urgencies.  Before entering Italy, the local health authorities having jurisdiction in the place of entry into Italy must be notified.  In this case, when entering Italy, a self-declaration about the urgency of the trip and its length, with details of the private means of transport used to reach the place and the address(es) of the accommodation(s) must be provided.  After such period, either the person leaves Italy or a he must begin a 14-day quarantine.
  • A new quarantine can take place at a different address, but additional information must be obtained and shown in case of checks during the trip to the new address.  Communication of the change of address must be made to the health authorities.

Transit

  • Transit is permitted, to return to the country of destination – in Italy or abroad.  More detail as follows:
    • in case of transit in/from/through an airport, when embarking on their flight transiting in Italy, travelers need to carry a specific self-certification of the trip to justify the reasons for their trip to Italy, the country (EU or non-EU country) where they are heading, and they are not permitted to leave the airport area.
    • In case the transit happens abroad and Italy is the final destination, the local health authorities having jurisdiction in the place of entry into Italy must be notified.
    • Travelers transiting by car can stay in Italy less than 24 hours (with the possibility of a further 12-hour extension) before continuing their trip to the country of destination with their own vehicle.  Before entering Italy by car, the local health authorities having jurisdiction in the place of entry into Italy must be notified.

Any transit must fall within the definition of urgent trips. 

FOOTNOTES

1  Decreto del Presidente del Consiglio dei Ministri 26 aprile 2020.
2  Legge 24 aprile 2020, n. 27 Conversione in legge, con modificazioni, del decreto-legge 17 marzo 2020, n. 18.

*  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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