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Italy: New Decree Imposing Additional Measures to Curb Spread of COVID-19 Enters into Effect

(Apr. 29, 2020) On April 14, 2020, a decree of the president of the Council of Ministers containing further urgent measures to curb the COVID-19 pandemic entered into effect in Italy. The decree will remain in effect until May 3, 2020. (Ulteriori 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.)

Implementation of Decree Law No. 19 of 2020

The aim of the new decree is to “consolidate[ ] all legislation recently enacted to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.” In particular, the decree further implements the stringent measures established by Decree Law No. 19 of March 25, 2020, which include raising the fines for violating the lockdown measures currently applicable throughout the country and increasing the maximum incarceration penalty for those who violate quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19.

Additional Stringent Measures

The new decree lists additional stringent measures applicable throughout the national territory, including the following:

  • Remaining in waiting rooms of emergency care centers and other healthcare residences and structures is prohibited. (Art. 1(1)(w) & (x).)
  • All retail trade activities, with the exception of the sale of food and basic necessities already identified in the previous regulations on curbing the spread of COVID-19, are suspended. (Art. 1(1)(z).)
  • Businesses not suspended in accordance with the regulations are required to ensure that people maintain a distance of at least one meter (3.3 feet) from each other. (Art. 1(1)(dd).)

However, banking, financial, and insurance services and agricultural, livestock, and agro-food processing activities are permitted under applicable hygiene and health regulations. (Art. 1(1)(ee).)

Provisions on Entry into Italian Territory

The new decree reiterates the measures already in place concerning the entry of Italians and non-Italians into the national territory during the Covid-19 pandemic. These include the requirements that

  • carriers and ship owners provide specific affidavits to anyone attempting to enter the national territory and adopt other measures to protect crew and passengers (art. 4(1) & (2)) and
  • persons who enter Italy, even if asymptomatic, communicate their presence immediately to the disease prevention department of the health authority responsible for the respective territory and, if they begin to experience COVID-19 symptoms, report promptly to the respective health authorities (art. 4(3)).

Restrictions on Cruise Ships and Vessels of Foreign Flags

The new decree also imposes restrictions on cruise ships and on vessels under non-Italian flags, including the following:

  • Suspending cruise services by Italian-flag passenger ships (art. 6(1).)
  • Prohibiting all management companies, ship owners, and masters of Italian passenger ships used in cruise services from allowing new passengers to come on board a ship (art. 6(2).)
  • Allowing passengers to disembark from the ship only after the execution of all the health prevention measures provided by the competent authorities (art. 6(3).)
  • Obligating passengers of foreign nationality and foreigners who are lawful residents in Italy intending to enter Italy to immediately transfer their passage to foreign destinations, with expenses to be paid by the ship owner (art. 6(4)(c).)
  • Requiring all passengers whose final destination is within Italy to reach their residence or domicile solely by private means of transportation (art. 6(5).)