UPDATED: Coronavirus in Rome – What You Need To Know

Update April 10, 2020

Follows an extract update of the accurate and daily updated article on our fellow VR manager colleagues blog, where we reccomend to check the most recent developments on the health and safety situation in Rome.

“You will now be aware that the flu-like Coronavirus has been impacting countries other than China.  Italy is being affected particularly hard by the spreading of 2019-nCoV (AKA COVID-19).

According to the government crisis scheme, until April 13 all public gatherings are banned. Travel is only allowed  for “urgent, verifiable work situations and emergencies or health reasons”.

Additionally, on March 12, it was decided that just a limited number of stores would be allowed to open.  Access is limited to just a few customers at a time, and people were encouraged not to leave their houses.

What happens now?

Although there is no official announcement as of yet, it is expected that the above steps will be extended throughout the month of April.

That means that until April 13, every shop that is not providing an essential service will be shut down. Schools, universities, cinemas, night clubs, theatres and museums as well as restaurants and cafes are closed at this time. Weddings and funerals have been halted. Churches are for the most part off-limits. See further below for the small list of shops that are allowed to open.

An unfortunate phenomenon has been observed where undisciplined people are finding excuses to go out. As a result some governors in Italy’s various regions have asked for the banning of more activities (think jogging and walking into parks, visiting the cemetery…). Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has granted their request, announcing a stricter lockdown on March 21, along with the shutting down on non-essential production activities, including offices and plants.

This series of measures is being increasingly mirrored by other countries in Europe, which have also been impacted by the Coronavirus. Flights have been suspended, in some cases borders have been closed, as are schools, eateries, clubs and the like in dozens of places all over the Continent.”

Updated March 4, 2020

New cases of coronavirus have been reported outside of China, including a growing number in Italy. We’ve received a number of queries about what’s happening in Rome. The situation is ongoing so we will continue to monitor official sources and keep you informed.

Here’s what you need to know about upcoming travel to Italy.

Has coronavirus affected Rome?

As of March 4, 2020, life is Rome is carrying on as normal. People are still going about their business. That means tourists visiting monuments and museums or locals heading to work or socializing with friends. The airports are quieter than usual, and some people are wearing face masks. People are still dining at restaurants, going to school and going to work. Many pharmacies are sold out of face masks and hand sanitizer. There are no food shortages in supermarkets.

That’s because Rome has only had a handful of isolated cases of coronavirus, also known as 2019-nCoV or COVID-19. According to Wanted In Rome, Rome’s Spallanzani hospital is treating a total of seven Coronavirus cases, including a Chinese couple who were the first cases of Coronavirus on Italian soil and are currently making a good recovery (March 2, 2020).

What’s happening in the rest of Italy?

According to CNBC: “The outbreak of the coronavirus has centered on Italy’s wealthy northern regions of Lombardy (with 1,520 cases), Veneto (307 cases) and Emilia-Romagna (420 cases). The death toll in Italy jumped to 79 on Tuesday, up from an official total of 52 on Monday. As of Wednesday morning, there are 2,502 cases of the virus in Italy. According to Italian media reports that are updated ahead of the daily official count, published by Italy’s Civil Protection Agency every evening.”

It’s important to put these figures into context too: Italy has a population of 60 million and also has some of the most stringent testing for the virus. Experts suggest this aggressive testing could be the reason why the cases have been identified.

While there are no restrictions on traveling in around Rome.  There are a small number of towns in northern Italy that are quarantined.

Should I cancel my trip to Italy?

The choice to travel is, of course, up to you. You may wish to reconsider if you have plans to travel to the north of Italy (although the towns in quarantine are way off the tourist trail and flights are still running to the regions). If you’re heading to central or southern Italy, there is currently no reason to cancel your trip. The advisory level on the US State Department website is currently* at “Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution”. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) “does not recommend canceling or postponing travel to Italy”.

*Update 1st March: the advisory level has been changed to 4 for Northern Italy.

Is it safe to travel to Rome?

As mentioned, it’s very much business as usual here in Rome and there is no official indication – from the Italian government or elsewhere – to avoid travel to Rome due to coronavirus. If you have booked an apartment with Treasure Rome and have other queries or concerns, please do get in touch on our contact page! We’ll be happy to provide you with the latest information to help put your mind at ease.

What should I do if I think I have COVID-19?

If you think you might have coronavirus, do not go to the hospital. Instead call the 1500 number, which has been specially set up to provide more information on the virus, how to avoid getting it, and what to do if you think you might be infected. Advisors will assess your condition over the phone and, if necessary, send someone to you to test for the virus.  Advice is offered in Italian, English, and Chinese languages.

More Information
Center for Disease Control (US)
US Embassy in Italy
Italian Ministry of Health Coronavirus Page (Italian language)
Corriere della Sera and La Repubblica (Italian Newspapers)

coronavirus rome covid19