Italy has been on lockdown for over a month and although many are tired of having to stay inside their homes, there is widespread awareness this is the best solution to avoid the spread of the disease until a vaccine is found. Italians have been told Phase Two will involve a very gradual re-opening of businesses while maintaining a number of precautions. Then there will be a Phase Three which will involve a full return to the life people the country were accustomed to, before the first person died of Covid-19 on 21 February.
Italians across the country are wary about the government’s decisions. They are only too mindful that the emergency is far from over and that the number of deaths remains very high, as well as the number of newly infected. Italy’s civil defense department reported that the country’s death toll exceeded 20,000 this week and the number of people who have caught the virus has surpassed 15,000. There is however light at the end of the tunnel as the number of people with the disease being admitted into intensive care units has been dropping steadily for more than a week.
The Italian government continues to consult its panel of scientific experts on when and how to implement the so-called “phase two”, an intermediary period between the current strict lockdown and “phase three”, during which the country will begin its gradual return to normality.
Not much is known yet about official plans for phase two of quarantine. But the government is looking at making changes from the end of the current lockdown period on May 3rd.
For the past month Italians were only able to leave their homes to go and purchase food or medicines or if they had a justified work reason or if they had an emergency. Apart from supermarkets and pharmacies, a number of other stores have remained open throughout the lockdown including household goods stores, home appliances and electronics stores and delivery services.
While factories are still not allowed to re-open, according to the government’s latest decree, a number of other industries have been given the green light to operate. These include forestry, wholesale of fertilizers and agricultural chemicals and landscape maintenance. Manufacturers of computers and other electronics, tools and machine parts and radiators and heaters can also go back to work.
Everyone must continue to maintain social distancing and hygiene measures and no customers are allowed into shops without protective masks.
Travelling around Italy.
At the moment – and this will continue until at least May 18th – travel into and within Italy is heavily restricted.
Hotels are closed. Museums may be allowed to reopen from mid-May, and bars and restaurants could be allowed to open their doors from June 1st, according to the latest government decree announced on Sunday.
Under Italy’s “phase two” of lockdown, from May 4th the rules on travel within regions will be relaxed slightly. But movement to and within Italy will remain limitied to emergencies, work and health reasons.
It is not yet known when people will be allowed to travel freely within their own region, never mind from one region to another.
A summer without trips to the beach is unthinkable in Italy, and owners of private beach clubs and lidos are now scrambling to find ways to enforce social distancing on the beach in the hope that they might be able to reopen at some point this summer.
However, Florentine citizens share the positive influence keeping the quarantine restrictions. Take this time to heal, help and spend more time with the families. We wish you health and love, waiting for the good news from the Italian Government. Stay Safe!
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