The Continuation of the “Phase 2” of Containment of the COVID-19 Emergency in Italy: Decree Law No. 33/2020 and the Prime Ministerial Decree of 17 May 2020

With the Decree Law No. 33/2020 (hereinafter, “DL 33/2020”) and the Decree of the President of the Council of Ministers of the 17th of May 2020 (hereinafter, “DPCM 17/5”), the Italian Government has established new measures to contain the COVID-19 emergency, which will ease the restrictions on mobility and allow the gradual reopening of commercial, professional and industrial activities, albeit in compliance with special precautionary measures.

In this article we will focus, in particular, on the main differences with respect to the previous regulations, thus again taking as reference the limitations (1) to personal movements; (2) to the performance of retail commercial activities; (3) to the performance of professional activities; (4) to the performance of industrial and commercial production activities.

With regard to (1) the restrictions on personal movements, DL 33/2020 provides that

All measures restricting travel within the same Region will cease to have effect. However, these measures may be adopted or repeated, limited to specific areas of the national territory, in the event of a significant worsening of the epidemiological situation.

Travel between different regions and to/ from abroad is permitted until the 2nd of June 2020 only if justified by (i) proven occupational needs, (ii) reasons of absolute urgency or (iii) health reasons. From the 3rd of June 2020, inter-regional travel, as well as travel to and from abroad, will be permitted, although the President of the Council of Ministers maintains the power to adopt restrictive measures in relation to particular areas and in proportion to the epidemiological risks arising in those areas, as well as, with reference to travel to/from abroad, in compliance with the constraints arising from the European Union and international obligations;

In any case, people are allowed to return to their own domicile, household or residence, however, mass gatherings in public places or places open to the public are prohibited. People who enter Italy, even if asymptomatic, are also required to immediately notify the Prevention Department of the health company competent for the territory and remain under health surveillance and solitary isolation for a period of fourteen days at their home or at their domicile indicated in advance.

With regard to (2) the performance of retail business activities, the DPCM 17/5 provides for a general possibility of reopening, provided that the social distancing of at least one metre is ensured, that entry is deferred and that people are prevented from staying on the premises longer than the time necessary to purchase goods. The activities of catering services (including bars, pubs, restaurants, ice-cream parlours, pastry shops) and personal services are also permitted upon the condition that the Regions and Autonomous Provinces have previously ascertained the compatibility of the performance of these activities with the evolution of the epidemiological situation in their territories. All of the aforesaid activities must in any case be carried out in compliance with what is established, for each sector, by the protocols or guidelines defined at both national and regional level.

On the other hand, with regard to (3) the performance of professional activities, the DPCM 17/5 continues to provide:

  • The use of Smart-working systems to the maximum possible extent, for those activities which may be carried out at home or remotely;
  • The encouragement of paid holidays and paid leave for employees and other collective bargaining tools;
  • The implementation of anti-infection safety protocols, with the adoption of individual protective instruments (e.g. masks) when it is not possible to respect social distancing of one meter;
  • The encouragement of sanitizing operations, as well as utilizing forms of social shock absorbers for such aim.

On the other hand, with regard to (4) the performance of industrial and commercial production activities, the DPCM 17/5 provides that it shall be permitted upon the condition that Companies comply with the provisions enclosed in the shared protocol for the regulation of measures to contrast and contain the spread of COVID-19 virus in the workplace signed on the 24th of April 2020 among the Government and the social partners. By way of example, these prescriptions include the measurement of employees’ temperature at the entrance to the workplace, daily cleaning and sanitizing of the premises, the provision of hand sanitizers, the imposition of social distancing of at least one meter or, where this is not possible, the mandatory use of masks and other protective devices.

These provisions are still evolving and we at D’Andrea & Partners Legal Counsel will keep you constantly updated, for more information you’re welcome to contact us at