Good morning on Monday 31st May. It's been a few weeks since my last update and quite a lot has changed in that time. The situation with the Coronavirus pandemic in Italy has improved somewhere between significantly and dramatically. Yesterday there were fewer than three thousand new cases announced and the daily average for the last 7 days was 3,248 per day, down from 4,566 per day for the previous seven days.
This in some part is down to the continued vaccine rollout but in my opinion, the warmer weather has played a much greater role, just as it did last year. The difference between this year and last year is that we have the vaccines and by the end of the summer, everyone should have been vaccinated and the case numbers reduced to negligible levels.
A number of restrictions have been or are about to be eased; from tomorrow 1st June it will be possible to eat both indoors and outdoors in the regions marked as yellow zones. As it stands, all but three regions are classified as yellow with the main restriction being the overnight curfew between 23:00 and 05:00. That curfew will be completely scrapped on 21st June.
However, it gets better; as of today, the three regions of Molise, Friuli Venezia Giulia and Sardinia have been classified as white zones where there is no curfew in place. In those white zones, the only obligations are to wear a mask inside shops or other indoor environments, and outdoors in crowded public spaces. I believe there is a general misconception that you have to wear a mask at all times while you're outside but that's not the case and absolutely impossible to enforce anyway. This particular rule is largely down to common sense and whilst the virus still hasn't completely been eliminated, it makes sense to continue to exercise a little bit of caution in every situation.
Whilst there are just three regions classified as white zones today, a series of others are set to follow suit next Monday if they continue to follow a similar trajectory.
I think it's fair to say that things are really looking positive in Italy at the moment; unfortunately there's still a great deal of uncertainty elsewhere, particularly in the UK which was leading the way a few weeks ago but now wrangling with the so-called Indian variant. There's a hope that with the vaccination programme in the UK having reached around 75% of the population with one dose and almost half with both doses, that the effects of this latest variant can be kept at bay.
In the last few weeks we've been seeing an increasing number of American tourists flying in on the daily Covid-free flights to Milan and the thrice-weekly services into Rome. The initiative seems to be working really well so far and is helping to kick-start the summer season after so many difficulties.
Below is a full summary of the latest restrictions.
Last updated: Sunday 30th May 2021 at 18:19 CET
Key: Purple shows an improvement and orange a deterioration
Number of new coronavirus cases in Italy today: 2,949 - decrease of 1,045 from equivalent day last week (Sunday 23rd May - 3,994)
Number of people currently infected in Italy: 238,296 (decrease of 3,670 compared to previous day)
Total number of new cases in the last 7 days (24th - 30th May): 22,737
Total number of new cases in previous 7 day period (17th - 23rd May): 31,962
Weekly difference: decrease of 9,225
Average New Cases Per Day
Average number of new cases per day in last 7 days (24th - 30th May): 3,248
Average number of new cases per day in previous 7 day period (17th - 23rd May): 4,566
R number (rate of transmission)
Latest R number as of Friday 28th May: 0.72
Previous R number: 0.78
Colour-Coded Zones with rules for each Region in Italy
As things stand today, Italy is split into four areas, colour-coded according to the prevalence of the virus in each region.
Overview of Current Restrictions
Curfew between 23:00 and 05:00: applies to regions in red, orange or yellow zones but will be scrapped on 21st June
Green certificates: available to people who have had both doses of a vaccine or the single shot J&J vaccine, people who have been infected with the virus and recovered or anyone who can provide a negative test taken in the previous 48 hours. The vaccination element of the certification is valid for 6 months after the date the full vaccination status was achieved.
Red Zone: Restaurants and bars closed except for takeaways and home deliveries. Non-essential shops closed.
No regions currently in the red zone
Orange Zone: Shops can open but restaurants and bars must remain closed except for takeaways and home deliveries. Non-essential shops can open.
No regions currently in the orange zone
Yellow zone: Shops, bars and restaurants can open for outdoor and indoor service. All shops can open. Movement between regions permitted without the need of a green certificate.
South Tyrol Province
White zone: No restrictions (except for social distancing and face masks in shops, restaurants and crowded public spaces)
Friuli Venezia Giulia
On my last blog I spoke a little bit about some of Italy's quirky towers; for today I'm going to leave you with some images of the country's most beautiful cathedrals. Let me know which are your favourites!
Back with more soon.
My name is Dion Protani, founder of Italy Review. The Italy Review blog is designed to provide ideas and inspiration to visit places in Italy you might not have heard about, as well those you have.