Italy’s Procedures for COVID-19Christopher Masi
In Italy, Government officials have signed various decrees, implemented containment measures, and created strict orders to place the entire country on lockdown, in an effort to contain the virus and to prevent it from spreading. Individuals are only permitted to leave the house for work needs and health reasons. If required, these needs must be attested by self-declaration, which can be made by filling in forms provided by the police force or downloaded from the Internet. Additionally, all forms of gatherings of people in public places or place that are open to the public are forbidden in the whole national territory (See Here) and (See Here). Provisions are also made to ensure that companies make maximum use of agile working methods for activities that can be carried out at home or remotely; to ensure that companies adopt anti-contagion safety protocols and, where it is not possible to respect the interpersonal distance of one meter as the main containment measure, with the adoption of individual protection tools; and to ensure that sanitation of the workplace is encouraged, including by using forms of social safety nets for this purpose (See Here).
Furthermore, on March 14, 2020, the Minister of Health announced that the government, trade unions and businesses have jointly defined a protocol for workplace safety, in an effort to unite the country in the battle against COVID-19. The document contains guidelines to assist companies in the adoption of anti-contagion safety protocols and provides operational indications to increase the effectiveness of the precautionary measures that have been adopted to combat the epidemic (See Here).
Companies that are required to annually submit the Single Environmental Declaration Model (MUD) (Modello unico di Dichiarazione Ambientale – MUD) can benefit from an extension of the deadline from 30 April 2020 to 30 June 2020. This was made possible with the publication of Decree-Law No. 18 of 17 March 2020 which, amongst many other measures, provides for enhanced support measures for workers and businesses connected to the epidemiological emergency resulting from COVID-19 (See Here). In the Single Environmental Declaration Model (MUD), bodies and businesses indicate the quantity and type of waste that they produced and/or managed during the previous year.
On March 13, 2020, the National Labor Inspectorate published a note clarifying the safety and health requirements related to the coronavirus emergency.
On March 20, 2020, the Minister of Health signed a Decree that extends restrictive measures across Italy to counter and contain the spread of COVID-19 (See Here). The measures were initially valid until March 25, but have now been extended to apply until April 3, 2020. The measures include prohibitions to access certain public areas and enforces an obligation of persons to maintain distance of at least one meter from others in places like airports and hospitals which currently remain open. The restrictions imposed by this Decree should not create any impacts for facilities.
On March 22, 2020, a new ordinance was adopted jointly by the Minister of Health and by the Minister of the Interior, which prohibits all natural persons from moving, including moving with public or private means of transport in a municipality other than that in which they are located, except for proven work needs, absolute urgency, or for health reasons. The provisions are effective immediately, and will remain in effect until 3 April 2020 (See Here). The provisions of this Decree also apply cumulatively to those of the Prime Ministerial Decree of 11 March 2020 (See Here) and of the Ordinance of the Minister of Health of 20 March 2020 (See Here), and the deadlines set for March 25 have now been extended to April 3 2020.
On March 24, the Council of Ministers approved Decree-Law N. 19 of March 29, 2020 which introduces urgent measures to deal with the COVID-19 emergency. The Decree re-confirms the already applicable containment measures that have been implemented since February 2020, but this Decree also provides the possibility for Regional authorities to propose stricter containment measures, if necessary, and also provides for stricter penalties and controls for violations of containment measures. Employers should be aware of the stricter containment measures and sanctions if the measures are violated. The Decree repeals and substitutes Decree-Law No. 6 of February 23, 2020, entered into force on March 26, 2020. (See Here).
On April 1, a new Decree was published that extends all containment measures in force in Italy so far until April 13 (See Here). The measures were then extended from April 14 to May 3 2020. (See Here).
The lockdown in Italy due to the pandemic ended on May 4 2020. Italy has implemented a phased approach to reopening the country, including the reopening of businesses. This program includes the establishment of an expert committee in economic and social matters and the Protocol for safety in the workplace. The Committee has the task of developing and proposing necessary measures to face the emergency and for a gradual recovery in the various sectors of social, economic and productive activities. The second pillar involves the strengthening of the Protocol for safety in the workplace, which was previously signed on March 14th. Decree of April 26 2020 provides for measures that must be taken to safely reopen the country and resume certain business activities (See Here) and (See Here). Additionally, the Decree also provides for hygiene and prevention measures that must be implemented by businesses that are allowed to operate again and that were not suspended (See Here). The government has published useful information that clarifies what phase 2 entails (See Here).
Employers should continue to check with relevant authorities for the latest information:
-Ministry of Health (http://www.salute.gov.it/nuovocoronavirus)
-Council of Ministers (http://www.governo.it/it/approfondimento/coronavirus/13968)
-Government Legislation on Coronavirus (http://www.governo.it/it/approfondimento/coronavirus-la-normativa/14252)
-European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/novel-coronavirus-china)
-European Commission Coronavirus response (https://ec.europa.eu/info/live-work-travel-eu/health/coronavirus-response_en)