COVID-19
Decree-Law no 19 of 25 March 2020
Urgent measures to deal with the COVID-19 emergency (DOWNLOAD PDF)

The Government approved Decree-Law no 19 of 25 March 2020 – “Urgent measures to deal with the COVID-19 emergency” (the 25 March Decree), published in the Italian Official Journal no 79 of 25 March 2020, and entered into force on 26 March 2020, to rearrange the rules so far adopted on the matter.
The 25 March Decree abrogates:
♦ Decree-Law no 6 of 23 February 2020, converted with amendments into Law no 13 of 5 March 2020, with the exception of articles 3, comma 6-bis and 4;
♦ Article 35 of Decree-Law no 9 of 2 March 2020,
and confirms the validity of the effects produced by and the measures adopted pursuant to the decrees and orders issued in accordance with Decree-Law no 6 of 23 February 2020 or article 32 of Law no 833 of 23 December 19781.
Furthermore, the 25 March Decree provides that the measures introduced by the following decrees – insofar as applicable at 26 March 2020 – will continue to apply on the same terms:
♦ Italian Prime Minister Decree of 8 March 2020
♦ Italian Prime Minister Decree of 9 March 2020
♦ Italian Prime Minister Decree of 11 March 2020
♦ Italian Prime Minister Decree of 22 March 2020
Any other measures (such as orders by the President of the Regional Council) still in force at 26 March 2020 shall apply for an additional ten days.
1 Urgent orders on matters of public health and hygiene and veterinary police measures issued by the Ministry of Health (covering the entire Italian territory or a part thereof covering several regions), by the President of a regional council or by a mayor (the effects of which are extended respectively to the relevant region, or to a part of the regional territory covering several municipalities, and to the relevant municipality).
DETAIL OF THE RESTRICTIVE MEASURES (Article 1 of the Decree)
In order to contain and combat the health hazard from the spread of COVID-19 throughout the Italian territory or in specific areas thereof, several urgent measures may be taken for pre-determined periods of a maximum of thirty days each, and subsequently reintroduced and amended one or more times until 31 July 2020.
The Decree provides a detailed lists of the available measures (see Annex).
The measures will be enacted more or less restrictively depending on the epidemiological pattern of the virus.
NOTA BENE
“Forced” opening of businesses not affected by the suspension of activities
The Decree provides that, as long as the state of emergency is in effect (and therefore until 31 July 2020), the Prefect (chief of state police) – after hearing the social partners and without the need to comply with formal obligations – may order the continued performance of all non-suspended activities, should this be required for reasons of effectiveness and public interest.
HOW ARE THE MEASURES IMPLEMENTED (Article 2 of the Decree)
The measures are implemented by means of one or more Italian Prime Minister Decrees, after hearing the Presidents of the Regions concerned – if the measures affect one or more specific Regions – or the President of the Conference of the regions and autonomous provinces (Conferenza delle regioni e delle province autonome) – if they affect the entire territory.
The Decrees may be adopted also on the proposal of the Presidents of the regions concerned, or of the President of the Conference of the regions and autonomous provinces if they apply to the entire territory.
URGENT REGIONAL OR INTERREGIONAL MEASURES
(Article 3 of the Decree)
In the event that the health hazard in all or part of the territory of a region should increase, pending the adoption of the Italian Prime Minister Decrees, Regional governments are allowed to introduce more restrictive measures, among those stated in the Decree, within the scope of their authority and without affecting productive activities and activities which play a strategic role in the country’s economy.
Regional measures shall be in force until the enactment of the relevant Italian Prime Minister Decrees.
Moreover, mayors shall not be allowed to issue urgent orders to cope with the emergency that are in conflict with Government measures, under penalty of nullity.
NEW PENALTIES (Article 4 of the Decree)
The penalties imposed for non-compliance have changed; the applicable administrative fine now amounts to between Euro 400 and Euro 3,000, increased by one third if the breach involves the use of a vehicle.
The fines provided for by article 650 of the Italian penal code or by other laws which grant powers for health protection purposes no longer apply.
As an accessory penalty, commercial businesses may also be forced to close down for a period of between 5 and 30 days (a closedown of up to 5 days will be ordered if deemed necessary to prevent the continued or repeated commission of the violation) .
The administrative fine will be doubled and the highest accessory penalty imposed in the event of repeated violation of the same provision.
For additional information, please contact:
Pirola Pennuto Zei & Associati – Ufficio Studi
Luca Occhetta: luca.occhetta@studiopirola.com
ANNEX
a) Restrictions to personal mobility, including limitations to the right to leave one’s home except briefly and within a short distance, to go to work, out of necessity or for urgent, health or other specific reasons;
b) Closing down streets, parks, playing grounds, public gardens or other public spaces;
c) Limitation or prohibition to leave or enter cities, provinces, regions or the entire national territory;
d) Precautionary quarantine for people who have had close contact with confirmed cases of the disease or who are back from areas outside the Italian territory;
e) Prohibition to leave one’s home for quarantined individuals who tested positive for the virus;
f) Limitation or prohibition to meet or gather in public places or places open to the public;
g) Limitation or suspension of shows, events or other public or private gatherings, for cultural, games, sports, recreational and religious purposes;
h) Suspension of civil and religious ceremonies, and restrictions to entering houses of worship;
i) Closing down movie theaters, theaters, concert halls, dancing halls, discos, gaming halls, betting halls and bingo halls, cultural centers, recreational centers or similar places of social aggregation;
l) Suspension of congresses, meetings or social events, unless they may be held in remote mode;
m) Limitation or suspension of sports events and competitions in public or private locations, including the temporary closedown of public or private gyms, spas, sports centers, pools, swimming centers and sports facilities, and the regulation of training activities at such locations;
n) Limitation or suspension of games, recreational, sports and exercising activities, either outdoor or in places open to the public;
o) Possibility to order or to authorize the competent authorities to order, the limitation, reduction, suspension or abolition of passenger and freight car, railways, air, maritime and waterways transport, by regular or charter transport companies, and local public transport services;
p) Suspension of all educational services and schools for all ages, including universities and arts, music and dance colleges, professional and master’s courses, courses for healthcare operators and universities for senior citizens, as well as professional and educational activities carried out by other public and private entities or similar courses, educational activities or exams, except those held in remote mode;
q) Suspension of educational travels, exchange or twinning initiatives, guided tours and educational trips under any name, however named, organized by schools, in Italy and abroad;
r) Limitation or suspension of opening hours, or closing of museums and other cultural institutions;
s) Limitation of the physical presence of employees at public offices, except for urgent activities and for the provision of essential services, preferably through smart working procedures;
t) Limitation or suspension of exams or recruitment procedures, for the hiring of staff by public and private employers, unless candidates are assessed solely on the basis of their CVs or in remote mode;
u) Limitation or suspension of retail activities, except those which provide agricultural produce, foodstuff and basic necessities, to be carried out in such as a way as to avoid gatherings and with the obligation for the owners of the establishments to put in place the necessary measures to ensure that the safety distance required to avoid or mitigate the risk of contagion is maintained;
v) Limitation or suspension of the activities for the supply to the public or the on-site consumption by the public of food and beverages, including bars and restaurants;
z) Limitation or suspension of other business or professional activities, including public functions, and independent contractor activities, with the exception of services of public necessity, subject to the implementation of safety protocols to prevent contagion and use of adequate personal protection equipment where the required safety distance may not be maintained;
aa) Restrictions to holding trade fairs and markets, except those required to make available agricultural produce, foodstuff and basic necessities;
bb) Specific prohibitions or limitations for people accompanying patients to ER waiting rooms;
cc) Restricted access by relatives and visitors to long-term facilities, nursing homes, hospices, rehabilitation facilities and residential homes for self-sufficient and non-self-sufficient elderly people, as well as to prisons and prison facilities for minors;
dd) Obligation to report to the healthcare authorities for anyone who passed through or stayed in at-risk areas, as identified by the WHO or the Ministry of Health;
ee) Implementation of information and prevention measures against the risk of epidemics;
ff) Implementing smart working procedures, including by departing from the rules in force;
gg) Specifying that allowed activities shall be conducted provided that the owner or person in charge puts in place appropriate measures to avoid gatherings, with the obligation to ensure that the safety distance recommended to prevent or mitigate the risk of contagion can be maintained or to adopt personal protective equipment and implement special-purpose safety protocols where such distance may not be maintained;
hh) Specifying any exclusions from the above limitations, to be evaluated by the specially designated public authorities on a case-by-case basis.