Coronavirus Italy Update: What I know about the nation-wide lockdown


My son is three years old and despite schools being closed since 25 February 2020, I am trying to keep his schedule relatively consistent and normal. So, bedtime was before the big coronavirus Italy update announcement came down last night – even I was asleep by 21:30.

I woke in the night to a fury of messages lighting up my phone. Yes, the entire country is now on lockdown.

I have been trying to keep up on the situation as best I can over the last few weeks, but to be honest, I have found some information difficult to follow and understand.

Perhaps some is my struggles with Italian – there is a great deal I’m google translating and a lot of the government-issued information is naturally solo in Italiano. Perhaps some of the issues are that some information truly is unclear since it’s all happening – and changing – so fast. And, I expect some confusion comes down to mixed messages with people simply not following the directives of the government.

But, I will share what I know. And, I add a big thanks to a local friend who yesterday was good enough to help me disseminate some information so I was more clear on the orange versus red zone rules. She also sent me a great deal of information in the night – I expect during her infant’s night feed.

To me, her help is indicative of what we all must do right now – work together, support each other, and, be patient. I have a lot more I want to write about and will do so as I can. Things are also rapidly changing, so I again ask for patience as things happen here in Italy.

A message from the Piedmont region president (translated to English):

People stay home only if the rules are the same for everyone. Otherwise, unfortunately, there is no sense of responsibility. I thank President Conte for acting quickly. Compared to yesterday, it will be necessary to avoid any unjustified movement, it will be possible to leave the house only for certified cases of work, urgency or necessity: and there will be checks, finally. The economy and work don’t stop, everything else will stop. They are rules of all of us but which must serve for respect for the life of others.

Alberto Cirio, president of the Piedmont region, source: IdeaWebTV


Conovirus Italy Update, answers to some of the biggest questions:

As of now, this information is in effect until 3 April 2020. I maintain that we can take this situation extremely seriously without panicking. Simply follow instructions – stay inside. Let’s work together to get this under control and get things back to normal.

Can people go outside?

  • What distance should we keep from other people? Maintain at least a one-meter distance.
  • Can I go to other municipalities? Absolutely not unless the situation is of absolute necessity.
  • Can I go to work? Yes, people can go to work, though it is advised that people work from home as possible. 
  • Can I leave for health reasons? Yes, always.
  • Who absolutely must stay at home? Elderly and immunosuppressed people or those with pathologies.
  • You can travel between areas if:An urgent, proven work-related reason.
    • health reasons.
    • “Situations of need”, for example if there are no shops open in your area selling basic necessities.
    • Returning home.

What is open?

  • Can I go shopping? Yes, one person per family at a time.
  • What about pharmacies and parapharmacies? They remain open as normal. 
  • And, schools? All schools, kindergarten to universities remain closed until April 3.
  • Will mass and other religious functions continue to take place? No
  • What about medium and large sales areas? Closed on Saturday and Sundays, on other days, the manager must ensure security measures.
  • Pubs, cinemas, gyms, discos, museums, and libraries? Closed
  • Municipal offices? Almost all services are available online. Essential and urgent services are guaranteed.
  • What about events, meetings, conventions, shows? All public and private events (indoor and outdoor) are now suspended.Sporting events (including Serie A football) are also suspended.
    • All Italian ski resorts are closed.

What if I think I’m sick?

  • What if I think I have coronavirus symptoms? If you develop a fever, cough or have difficulty breathing either in Italy or within 14 days of traveling here, seek medical advice immediately but without endangering others. Do not go to a hospital or a doctor’s office. In Italy, call the government’s coronavirus hotline on 1500 for emergency advice in English, Italian, or Chinese. If you have any questions or concerns while in Italy, you can call one of the regional information lines set up specifically for that purpose.
  • What if I have a fever? If it is above 37.5 ° C / 99.5 ° F, call the general practitioner, stay at home and DO NOT go to the emergency room.


The measures introduced in these days aim to avoid a large epidemic wave. In the case of the coronavirus we must consider the fact that Italy has an elderly population, actually much older than the Chinese one, which needs to be protected from the contagion.

Italy’s National Health Institute. 

Coronavirus Italy update resources:

  • The Local Italy, I’ve found this site to be very informative and helpful with information; in English.
  • Ministero delle Salute / Ministry of Health, Ongoing updates from the government; in Italian.
  • Real-time map of confirmed cases, by region.
  • US Embassy Coronavirus Italy travel information: click here.
  • Italian National Institute of Health’s website (Italian): click here.
  • If you are in the country and are exhibiting symptoms, call Italy’s 112 emergency number or 1500. English speaking operators are available.
  • WHO COVID-19 Protection Measures: click here.

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