From tomorrow, Saturday, April 17 at 2pm, Florence and the city’s environs will slacken their pandemic restrictions slightly as the province aligns with the rest of Tuscany’s “orange zone”.
The shift comes as Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi announced changes to the country’s rules in the coming weeks. “We can look to the future with prudent optimism and confidence,” stated the PM, as he outlined the nationwide roadmap for reopening Italy in a joint press conference with health minister Roberto Speranza. The openings are based on a “reasoned risk based on data, which are improving.”
April 26 marks the reintroduction of reinforced yellow zones and the date when businesses can reopen for outdoor activities in areas with a low infection rate. All students will return to school in yellow and orange zones. Restaurants can start serving again for lunch and dinner alfresco. Sports centres will be able to welcome back athletes, but only outside. Culture will resume outdoors for film showings and exhibitions, and theatres and cinemas will reopen their doors with capped numbers.
Prime Minister Draghi reiterated the continued need to observe the use of face masks and social distancing, and urged police and local authorities to enforce the regulations in place.
While the vaccine effort continues with more than 14 million doses administered, just over a fifth of the Italian population, hospitals in Tuscany remain strained with over 45% occupancy of the region’s ICU beds.
Orange zone rules
You may only move around within your municipality, unless you need to leave for work, study, health, necessity or to use services not available in your area (such as post offices and supermarkets). If you leave your municipality for work, you must be able to show adequate documentation provided by your employer to prove the reason for your movements. If stopped by the police for a check, you will be required to fill in the self-declaration form, which can be downloaded here. You do not need require the self-certification form between 5am and 10pm if you remain in your municipality.
You may leave your municipality where you live to go to neighbouring municipalities to buy products that you need (and cannot find locally), products that are cheaper and to collect takeaways from restaurants; to go to neighbouring municipalities to use your usual businesses or services (such as hairdressers, beauty parlours, mechanics, etc.); to carry out urgent or necessary work on holiday homes, boats, camper vans or caravans; to tend to land or look after animals. In case of separated or divorced families, you may go to other municipalities to see your child(ren) who live with the other parent. Returning to your home or place of residence is always allowed. You are permitted to leave your home to care for a family member or a friend who is not self-sufficient.
The curfew between 10pm and 5am continues to apply.
Up to two adults may spend time in another person’s home, on the condition that they live in the same municipality, only do so once a day, and observe the 10pm-5am curfew.
Infant, primary and middle schools will remain open. Secondary schools may remain open with a maximum student attendance of 50%. Distance learning only for universities.
Restaurants may only sell takeout until 10pm and bars, ice-cream parlours and bakeries may only sell takeout until 6pm. There is no time restriction on home deliveries. Takeout may not be consumed in the vicinity of the place of purchase.
Museums and exhibitions remain closed. Libraries may open, but services must be booked in advance. Pools, gyms, theatres and cinemas remain closed.
All shops may reopen. Shopping centres will remain closed at weekends, apart from supermarkets, pharmacies and other stores deemed to sell essential items.