International Intel Series: A Q&A on Italy’s Reopening


As your partner in international education, we are committed to providing ongoing updates of situations around the world. In our new Q&A series, we will be tapping into our local experts on the ground across the world, to get the inside scoop on how various cities and countries around the world are handling re-openings amidst COVID-19.

Below is an interview recorded on 6.18.2020 with Serena R., a member of our Operations Team here at EF Study Abroad, on how Italy is handling their re-opening. As this is an evolving situation, please always be sure to check our country insights page here for bi-weekly updates!

Italy has been hit quite hard by the emergency of COVID-19.

On March 9th, 2020, the government imposed a national lockdown, restricting the movement of the population except for necessary work and health circumstances. All non-essential shops and businesses closed.

Phase 2 started on May 11th, with the gradual reopening of shops and businesses.

On June 3rd, Italy began to allow regional and some international travel (EU, Schengen).

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Q) What are the current guidelines right now?

  • One meter distance rule: Everyone is required to keep a minimum distance of one meter from anyone else at all times when out of the house, or two meters while exercising. 
  • Wearing masks: Wearing a face mask remains mandatory in closed spaces, such as in restaurants (except when sitting down) or shops, or on public transport. In some regions, including Lombardy, it’s mandatory whenever you’re out of the house.
  • Temperature checks:  To access offices and public buildings it is mandatory to undergo body temperature measurement. Temperature screening is also in place for passengers at Italian airports and some train stations.


Q) What have you most looked forward to coming out of lockdown?

I spent the past months in Zurich, where the lockdown has been definitely less strict than in Italy. But I was looking forward to seeing my family and my friends again. Going out for an aperitivo or grabbing a coffee at an espresso bar now feels more special.

Q) Do you plan to travel yourself?

Absolutely. After spending some time on the seaside in Northern Italy, where I come from, I’m planning a road trip in the Marche, a region in central Italy that I haven’t discovered yet.

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