With 251 new COVID cases per 100,000 inhabitants in Tuscany, one more than the cutoff of 250 per 100,000 inhabitants, the entire region of Tuscany will become a “red zone” from Monday, March 29 until Tuesday, April 6. All Italy will be classified as “red” from April 3 – 5, during Easter weekend.
The region was upgraded to the “red zone” at the last minute on March 26, due to a number of new infections in the province of Prato, missing from the report the day before, which tipped the balance.
Like the Christmas holidays, when the entire country became a “red zone,” visits to the homes of friends and relatives within the city limits where one lives will be permitted once a day on April 3, 4 and 5 by no more than two people at a time, who may be accompanied by kids 14 and under and those with disabilities.
Florence mayor Dario Nardella is contemplating whether or not to close city parks, which is not mandated by the current national ordinance.
RED ZONE REGULATIONS
In a “red zone,” it is prohibited to leave one’s town of residence at any time except for work and health reasons or necessity; the same applies for going out where one lives.
Hairdressers, nail salons and nearly all retail shops will stay closed. Restaurants and bars can only provide take out (up to 10 pm) or delivery, which can take place 24/7. Grocery stores, supermarkets, pet food shops, hardware stores, newsstands, dry cleaners and pharmacies can stay open. Ski resorts, discos, gyms and swimming pools will remain closed. Contact sport activity is prohibited. People are allowed to run, jog or bike within town limits. Exercising outdoors near one’s home is permitted given that two-meter social distancing (6.5 ft.) is respected.
All schools close immediately in a region when it is classified a “red zone,” and remote learning mandated although the disabled and students with special needs can still attend on-site special ed classes. Parents with kids ages 16 and under can work from home, and will also receive a weekly stipend of a minimum of €100 to spend on a babysitter or help with their children. After the Easter holidays, Prime Minister Draghi has announced the children will return to class from nursery school up to and including the sixth grade even in “red zones.”
Museums, exhibitions, cinemas and theaters continue to be closed; buses, trains and trams will accept only 50% of passenger capacity with the national curfew from 10 pm to 5 am remaining in place. (rosanna cirigliano)