Italy extends the latest coronavirus restrictions until 7 October

Italy’s PM Giuseppe Conte on Monday evening signed the latest set of rules under the country's coronavirus state of emergency that introduced the sweeping restrictions of the past six months. The new decree will be valid for 30 days, until 7 October, when ministers will again decide if rules should be extended or revisited.

Rather than being a new set of regulations and provisions, the latest text is mainly an extension of existing rules put in place by prevous decrees.

No new restrictions have been introduced - and some have been relaxed, news wires reported.

The new decree keeps Italy's existing rules on face masks in place: everyone must wear them in enclosed public spaces such as shops, restaurants or public transport. They must also be worn in outdoor areas between 6pm-6am, as the rule introduced on 15 August has also been extended under the new decree.

Masks must be worn "in the spaces pertaining to places and premises open to the public as well as in public spaces (squares, open spaces, streets, promenades) where due to the physical characteristics it is easier for gatherings to form, including those of a spontaneous and occasional nature."

The only exceptions are children under six years old, or people with a disability that makes it impossible.

Those rules will apply until at least 30 September, when the government will decide whether to extend them again.

Italy's complex travel rules are otherwise mostly unchanged in the new decree.

Those returning to Italy from trips to Spain, Malta, Greece and Croatia will still face mandatory testing on arrival and the quarantine obligation for those arriving from Romania and Bulgaria stays in place.

The decree also keeps in place a ban on entry from countries on Italy's no-travel list. There are 16 countries currently included: Armenia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brazil, Bosnia Herzegovina, Chile, Kuwait, North Macedonia, Moldova, Oman, Panama, Peru, Dominican Republic, Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo.

Travel from elsewhere, including from the US, remains possible for essential reasons only and arrivals will still face a 14-day quarantine on arrival.

The decree is set to include an exception to allow the reunification of international couples separated due to the travel rules: partners living abroad can now enter Italy to reach "the person with whom they have a stable emotional relationship, even if not cohabiting.", the decree text states. It is not yet clear what evidence they must provide to prove their relationship is "stable".

Dance venues will stay closed throughout September under the extended rules.

Italy shut down all discos and nightclubs, including outdoor venues, on 15 August as they were being frequently linked to new outbreaks in the country.

The new decree allows public transport to run at 80% of its maximum capacity from Monday.

Stadiums will not be able to admit the public in September, and football matches will continue to be played behind closed doors.

More on this subject: Coronavirus

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