Italian Government’s urgent measures to contain the coronavirus outbreak in the whole Country

1. Background

On March 9, 2020 the Italian Government approved by decree the urgent measures indented to contain the spread of the coronavirus outbreak within the whole Country (the Decree).

The Decree has extended to the entire national territory the set of measures originally applying to certain areas only (called “red / orange zones”, namely those areas located in Northern Italy mostly affected by the coronavirus spread1) that had just been introduced by the previous decree passed on March 8, 2020.

2. Content and nature of #I-stay-at- home measures

Instead of a Wuhan-style lockdown, the Government opted to impose partial travel restrictions and social distancing by banning any social events and gathering, thus keeping people away from one another.

Mr. Conte, Chairman of the Government, clearly appealed to Italy’s sense of civic duty, saying: “The right decision is to stay home.”

The restrictions set forth in the Decree apply to the whole Country, in order to have the same rules for the entire national territory, and avoid any development of regional and local rules.

We have described below the main restrictions which may have an impact on company’s business.

a) MOBILITY

Any movement of physical persons within, into and out of any Municipality of the entire national territory, is banned except for any movement based on (i) proven work demands or (ii) significant needs or (iii) health grounds.

The existence of any relevant exemption can be certified by self-declaration which shall be true (delivery of false declarations is a criminal offence).

The Decree does not entail neither the halt of the production and working activities, nor the blockage of transports or the circulation of goods from, to and throughout the concerned areas.

This means, in substance, that going to work is allowed, especially for those employees performing activities which cannot be rendered via smart working and require the physical presence of employees at the company's site. It is recommended that the self-statement proving the work demand is provided by the employer in favor of its employees. The rule and related exemptions apply also to cross border workers.

Transports and circulations of goods are allowed. Airports and railway stations are open and functioning (although some flying companies opted to cancel part of their flights).

People are permitted to return to their domicile, home or place of residence.

Persons with respiratory infection and fever (over 37.5 °C) symptoms shall stay at home, limit social situations as much as possible, and refer to their doctor.

Persons who have been subject to quarantine or tested positive for the coronavirus are absolutely prohibited from moving from home.

b) WORK

Employers in the public and private sector are recommended to encourage - during the effective period of the Decree - employees to take ordinary leave and holiday leave periods. Whenever possible, remote meeting tools should be adopted for conducting meetings and smart working should be enabled.

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