Covid-19 Drags On — Update From Northern Italy
Restricted travel, a 10 p.m. curfew, and most restaurants closed
There’s a dreary sense of resignation around the whole topic of Covid-19. Whatta ya gonna do? The owner of a coffee bar outside of Rome got so sick and tired of hearing about the issue all day she posted signs barring discussion of the virus.
People are generally good about the regulations and restrictions without a lot of fussing. Masks are dutifully worn inside grocery stores and the mall. Outside, masks are not required unless people are within two meters distance.
The good news is the cautionary measures seem to be working. At a recent press conference, Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza said, “The data we are starting to receive gives a glimpse of the light at the end of the tunnel, but we must keep a prudent approach.”
Italy is using a tiered system based on the number of cases, so each of the 20 regions are evaluated separately. Right now, the Lombardy region where I live is a Red Zone — high risk, maximum restrictions. Here’s what that means:
- Bike rides and dog walks are allowed “within the vicinity of one’s home.” You don’t have to wear a mask while exercising, but you need one with you.
- Leaving your municipality is prohibited except for “proven work needs, situations of necessity or for health reasons.” Acceptable reasons include going shopping for things you can’t get where you live, required work, going to a doctor's appointment, or going to a second home.
- A form is required that states the purpose of each trip outside the house. The form could be asked for but generally isn’t as a matter of course. For example, if somebody is going to the doctor in another town on a train a policeman at the station could ask to see it.
- There’s a curfew at 10 p.m. and nobody is supposed to be outside walking around.
- Takeout is okay until 10 p.m., but most restaurants are closed for indoor dining. Some restaurants are reportedly doing quite well with delivery service…