Italy to phase out covid curfew amid easing of restrictions

Italy's curfew is to be scrapped completely on 21 June as the government relaxes covid restrictions further.

The Italian government has announced that the nightly curfew is to be phased out gradually over the next few weeks as the country continues to ease its covid-19 restrictions.

The 22.00-05.00 curfew will be pushed back to 23.00 in Italy's moderate-risk 'yellow' zones from 18 May.

The curfew will then be pushed back to midnight from 7 June before being scrapped entirely on 21 June.

Currently all of Italy is classified as yellow with the exception of Val d'Aosta which is a medium-risk 'orange' zone.

Six regions are to enter the lowest-risk 'white' zone by the first week of June. There are currently no regions in the high-risk 'red' zone.

The decision to gradually phase out the curfew was announced on the evening of 17 May after a meeting between Italian premier Mario Draghi, government ministers and top health advisors at Palazzo Chigi.

The move comes amid a steady decline in Italy's new coronavirus infections and an improving vaccination programme, as the country opens up to international visitors this summer.

In addition to the curfew, Italy has announced the easing of restrictions affecting the following categories:

Restaurants

From 1 June restaurants and bars can open for lunch and dinner indoors as well as outdoors.

White zones

From 1 June the regions of Friuli Venezia Giulia, Molise and Sardinia become white zones, with the least stringent covid restrictions applying - only rules relating to masks and social distancing - and no curfew.

The regions of Abruzzo, Veneto and Liguria are set to become white zones from 7 June, reports news agency ANSA.

Competition sports can resume from 1 June, with spectators allowed up to 25 per cent of the full capacity of the facility, but not exceeding 500 people indoors or 1,000 outdoors.

Gyms can open on 24 May, with indoor swimming pools reopening on 1 July.

Weddings can be held from 15 June, under the 'green pass' system, with guests required to show proof of vaccinations or a negative covid test.

Theme parks can reopen from 15 June.
Shopping malls and commercial centres can open at weekends and on holidays from 22 May. Ski lifts in mountain resorts can reopen from 22 May.

Gambling: Amusement arcades, betting rooms, bingo halls and casinos can reopen from 1 July. Discos are to remain closed.

This evening, 17 May, Italy recorded 140 coronavirus-related deaths (up from 93 yesterday) and 3,455 new covid-19 infections, down from 5,753 the previous day, according to the latest data released by the Italian health ministry.

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