Dos and don'ts of Phase 2 in Italy

As we recently embarked on the long-awaited phase 2 and are ready to go back to ‘normal’, it is essential to remember that Italy is not out of the woods yet.

Precautions will continue to be a part of the daily life for a long, long time. So, what do our new lives looks like and what are some activities that we can enjoy as we learn to live with covid-19?

Social distancing

Following the latest decree, one of the most wondered questions was if it would be possible to visit loved ones.

After nationwide discussions, the government clarified who we can actually visit, and it is limited to extended family members who live in the same region.

You are, though, allowed to meet up also with your significant other, even if you are not legally married.

However, this does not give a free pass to organize gatherings with friends or throw dinner parties.

Unfortunately, it is still not possible to catch up with friends in person, and our social lives will seem to be continuing on Zoom and HouseParty for a longer time. 

Aperitivo-to-go vs. delivery 

After long weeks of lockdown, it’s time to have another taste of that pasta dish that you’ve been craving! Unlike phase 1, when restaurants were allowed to operate only through delivery apps, now it is once again possible to go to a restaurant or a bar in person.

Yet, this is strictly for ‘take-out’ purposes, and it is not allowed to actually eat or drink in the establishment. Be warned that enjoying your take-out in piazzas or outdoor spaces with friends or companions is also prohibited. 

You can still take your order home and enjoy it with your family though - a luxury to savor during the pandemic! In fact, many restaurants and bars are serving special menus that promise the same dining experience. A perfect solution to replicate a Roman aperitivo or dinner as you also help out business to get back on their feet!

It is also possible to stop by your favorite bar for a real espresso -to go- or get a ‘cono di gelato’ from your preferred gelateria on the way back from your daily walk. 

Parks and monuments

One of the best news about phase 2 is the reopening of parks and the possibility of going for a walk or a run without having to worry about staying close to your living quarters.

Finally, it is time for a stroll in Villa Borghese or Giardino degli Aranci to enjoy the sun. It is also a great time to appreciate your favorite Roman monuments without the crowds.

Organize your daily run around the historic center and stop for a quick photo break to snap a few pictures of Rome from a new perspective.

If you are interested in culture, museums are also set to open one by one starting from 18 May, another great activity to enjoy alone while social-distancing from friends.

Remember, all roads lead to Rome, so enjoy this eternal city as much as possible, even during a pandemic! 

Shopping -with a mask- and a visit to the hair salon

Another progress that is coming soon is the gradual opening of shops. The government, as well as the Lazio region, are working on the last details to give them the green light. Hairdressers and beauty salons are also anticipated to be back in business in the upcoming weeks.

The instructions for safety measures are still unclear. Yet, a limited number of customers inside the shops and upgraded hygiene protocols will be a given. Business owners and customers will all have to pay attention to limit the risks as much as possible.

Regions have different protocols for the use of masks, but it is always obligatory to wear one in public areas such as supermarkets and public transportation. The same will be expected in shops, beauty salons, and other shared spaces.

Traveling away

Currently, it is not possible to travel outside of the region without a valid motive such as work purposes or other emergencies.

However, this does not mean free-movement inside the regions either. All travels should be motivated by a necessity and it is not yet allowed to travel anywhere for leisure.

Therefore, driving to a nearby 'comune' for a stroll or day-trips to Lazio beaches are also still out of the question. 

Nevertheless, the government is currently working on a ‘travel bonus’ to offer economic benefits to the citizens who will opt to spend their vacations in Italy. A hopeful sign that we might get to spend some time at the beach after all!

Even though phase 2 still seems harsh, the authorities are closely monitoring the situation and in case of improvement, further liberties will be granted to the citizens in the following weeks.

The restrictions are expected to continue for the next few months- if not longer- and the phase 3 will only start after the finding of a specific cure or vaccine. Meanwhile, we will have to live with covid-19, be extra careful and make sure to abide by the rules. Stay strong, stay safe, stay Roman!

Ph: Alessia Pierdomenico / Shutterstock.com