Following the news that the UK is entering its toughest lockdown yet, Italy and Germany too have decided to extend their lockdown restrictions further into the New Year. However, whilst Italy’s system will change to a tiered system that changes rules dependent on the day, Germany is set to continue with a hard, national lockdown in an effort to bring case numbers lower.
With both countries approaching lockdown differently, it’s important that travelers remain aware of the current restrictions and protocols in place – here’s what you need to know.
Italy’s Lockdown – What Travelers Should Be Aware Of
Italy is currently under a “red-zone” lockdown, which means that shops, bars and restaurants are ordered to close, and citizens are required to stay at home at all times, except for emergency reasons.
The ban came into effect between 24th-27th December, 31st December to January 3rd, and 5th-6th January, when Italian celebrate the feast of the epiphany. The in-between days – 28th, 29th and 30th December, and January 4th, saw Italy under nationwide “orange-zone” rules, where people could leave their homes, shops could open but bars and restaurants had to close.
With the current rules set to expire this week, Italian politicians met to discuss changes to the lockdown system.
They have decided to re-implement a three-tiered system, that will see different regions facing different measure depending on the prevalence and impact of the virus in the region.
Restrictions will relax on weekends, whilst the ban on traveling between Italy’s 20 regions has also been extended further. The decision to open ski resorts has been delayed until January 18th, whilst some regions are continuing to keep high schools closed to control the spread of the virus.
Germany’s Lockdown – Information For Travelers
Germany’s current lockdown restriction came into force on December 16th, in order to mitigate the spread of the virus before Christmas. Its lockdown rules saw only essential businesses, such as banks and supermarkets, permitted to open, whilst businesses such as restaurants, bars, gyms and salons were forced to close.
Germany’s government and federal states have been in discussions regarding extending the lockdown and have yet to find a solution that all states can agree to. Whilst the consensus is that the lockdown should be extended by three weeks, those from lesser-affected states are trying to push for only a two week extension to the current lockdown.
Germany began to inoculate its populace on December 26th, and has seen 264,000 people so far receive the two doses of the vaccination needed to be protected from the virus.
Covid-19 in Italy and Germany
Italy was the first European country to be badly affected by the coronavirus, and still remains the European country with the highest number of Covid-19 deaths. After a tricky start, few daily cases were reported until October, when the country experienced its second wave. With cases starting to rise once more, it seems its lockdown extension is warranted.
Many politicians in Germany have warned against complacency and premature easing of the restrictions, and with good reason. At present, the situation is still serious in Germany, with 139.6 people per 100,000 becoming infected – a far cry from the 50 per 100,000 target that the government set in order for the current restrictions to be lifted.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories