As the coronavirus pandemic continues to affect much of the world, the Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has announced that he will ask the Italian parliament to extend the country’s COVID-19 state of emergency to at least the end of January 2021, one year after it began.
The current state of emergency period in Italy is due to end on 15th October 2020, but in a bid to avoid the surge in cases seen in other European countries, the government has stated that there is little option but to further extend the period. The state of emergency allows the government and local authorities to undertake actions or impose policies that they would normally not be permitted to carry out. In this respect, the prime minister stated that being able to make such decisions is vitally important for the country, as “the situation remains critical, although the infections are under control".
Does this mean that there will also be a new emergency decree in Italy? By extending the state of emergency, this allows regional authorities to introduce their own local rules aimed at controlling the spread of the virus. The current COVID-19 rules and measures in Italy are also to be reviewed this week, although given the number of new cases, rules are unlikely to be relaxed and measures will likely see extensions as well.