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Italy – COVID-19: Rising Infections Lead to Movement Restrictions, Activity Limitations

Italy-Rising Infections Lead to Movement Restrictions

In Italy, a new regulation will be in force until 3 December which reinforces many restrictions currently in force. Under the regulation, in some areas of the national territory, movement will be allowed only for specific reasons and with self-certification. Substantial fines exist for non-compliance. Certain travel restrictions are in place for travel within/into/out of Italy. Travellers from Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Spain, the Netherlands, or the U.K., who have been in these countries in the past 14 days before coming to Italy, face new requirements.

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Flash Alert 2020-456

In light of increasing infection rates for COVID-19 in Italy, the Italian authorities have strengthened the current coronavirus-related measures.  A new regulation will be in force until 3 December.1 

The government has introduced further restrictive measures depending on the areas where the risk of contagion is higher or lower.  These restrictions concern movements within the national territory and limitations of various specified activities.  The regulations also see the return of the self-certification system, where individuals are required to confirm the reasons for their movements/travel in writing.  Such certification may be followed up and verified by the authorities. There are substantial fines for non-compliance or mendacious declarations.  The authorities are actively controlling certificates and issuing fines.

The extension of the state of emergency allows the government to amend the country’s laws at short notice in response to the changing pandemic situation.

WHY THIS MATTERS

Under the new rules, in some areas of the national territory, movement will be allowed only for specific reasons and with self-certification.  Substantial fines exist for non-compliance.

With infection rates on the rise in many European Union (EU) countries, Italy has maintained previously-decided travel limitations within the EU, as well as certain limitations for travellers from outside the EU.

All this could cause some anxiety, stress, and inconvenience, especially where plans for travel and relocation are already underway.  Individuals should be particularly aware of the consequences of non-compliance with the self-certification regime.

To the extent closure and reduced activities of many public offices/agencies occur, public services in the areas of tax, social security, immigration, and others could be affected.

Until the government decides it is safe to rescind or roll-back current policies, extensive remote working – where practical – may be worthwhile for employees and is a way for employers to foster the safety of their employees, while also helping to ensure business continuity. 

Travel Restrictions

The possibility to travel freely to and from EU countries for any reason is still confirmed.  However, people who enter Italy and who have transited or stayed in Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Spain, the Netherlands, or the U.K., in the past 14 days before coming to Italy, must alternatively: 

  • show the airline crew or border authorities the results of a swab test or molecular test with a negative result taken within the last 72 hours;      
  • take a swab test or molecular test when arriving at the airport, port, or any point of entry into Italy, or within 48 hours of one’s entry, at the local health-care authority.

 On the other hand, entry into Italy for people coming from non-EU countries or countries that are not part of the Schengen area continues to be generally allowed only for limited reasons including work, health, absolute urgency, and study.  When entry is possible, the traveller will be expected to undergo health surveillance and self-isolation for 14 days.

Movement Restrictions within Italy

Given that the spread of COVID-19 has been faster in some areas of Italy’s national territory, the authorities have adopted different measures depending on the contagion risk rate.

In particular, the areas and the related provisions have been identified as follows:

1)      Yellow Areas (moderate risk):

  • Campania (including Naples), Emilia Romagna (including Bologna) , Friuli Venezia Giulia, Lazio (including Rome), Marche, Molise, Province of Trento, Sardinia, and Veneto (including Venice and Verona);
  • restriction of the movement of people from 10:00pm to 5:00am (curfew), unless for proven work needs, situations of necessity, or for health reasons.

2)      Orange Areas (medium-high risk):

  • Abruzzo, Basilicata, Liguria (including Genova), Tuscany (including Florence), Puglia, Sicily, and Umbria;
  • prohibition of any movement in and out of the "at risk" area, as well as in the municipality other than that of residence, except for proven work needs, situations of necessity, or health reasons.

3)      Red Areas (high risk):

  • Province of Bolzano, Calabria, Lombardy (including Milan), Piedmont (including Turin), and Valle d’Aosta;
  • prohibition of any movement in and out of the territory, and within the whole territory (i.e., from one municipality to another municipality within the region), except for proven work needs, situations of necessity, or health reasons.

Limitations on Carrying out Various Activities

Following the new Decree, the government has provided further activity limitations, which are in force in all areas and include:

  • restrictions on opening for cafes, bars, and restaurants;
  • closure of retail stores;
  • prohibition of shows/theatres/exhibitions;
  • reduction of 50 percent in public transport capacity; 
  • remote school teaching;
  • smart working incentives.

These limitations are more or less restrictive in the different contagion risk areas:

  • in Yellow areas, catering services are allowed from 5:00am to 6:00pm, in both Orange and Red areas there is a total closure of catering activities, apart from limited takeaway services.
  • in Yellow areas, closure of the medium/large retailers is required just on public holidays/weekends; in Red areas, such activities are totally suspended).  However, the opening of ‘essential goods’ retailers such as pharmacies or grocery stores is allowed.

KPMG NOTE

Remote working is strongly advised in all areas.

The authorities are actively checking on compliance with the regulations.

FOOTNOTE

1  Decreto Del Presidente Del Consiglio Dei Ministri n. 275 del 04 novembre 2020.  See the text (in Italian).

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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