Italy moves Rome and Milan into lowest-risk covid 'white zones'

Half of Italy's population will be living in white zones from next Monday says Italian health minister.

Five more Italian regions and one autonomous province will be re-classified as 'white zones' - the lowest-risk category under Italy's colour-coded system of coronavirus restrictions - from 14 June.

The regions of Emilia Romagna, Lazio (Rome), Lombardia (Milan), Piemonte, Puglia and the province of Trento will pass from moderate-risk yellow zones to lowest-risk white zones from Monday.

The move was announced last night by health minister Roberto Speranza who said the latest data from Italy's national health institute (ISS) confirmed that Italy's covid-19 numbers remain low.

The new white zones will join Abruzzo, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Liguria, Molise, Umbria, Sardegna and Veneto, with the rest of the country remaining 'yellow' for now.

To be classified as a white zone, a region must have registered fewer than 50 covid-19 cases per 100,000 inhabitants for three consecutive weeks.

There are no longer any Italian regions or autonomous provinces in the highest-risk 'red' or medium-risk 'orange' zones, where more restrictive rules apply.

The only restrictions that apply in white zones relate to social distancing and the wearing of masks indoors and in crowded outdoor places.

White zones are exempt from the nightly curfew (from midnight to 05.00) which remains in place in the rest of Italy, before being phased out completely on 21 June.

The ISS announced on Friday that the national 'R' reproduction number remains at 0.68, according to the latest covid-19 data, with the incidence rate in Italy dropping to 25 coronavirus cases for every 100,000 inhabitants.

ISS president Silvio Brusaferro predicted last night that based on the improving trend white zone rules would apply to all of Italy by the end of June.

For official information relating to the covid-19 situation in Italy - in English - see the health ministry website.