Italy will impose fines and even the arrest of those who break without reason the isolation of the region of Lombardy and other 14 northern provinces, with the aim of containing the expansion of the coronavirus, which amounts to 6,387 infected and 366 dead.
The Italian Government has decreed the isolation of large areas where some 16 million people live and where most of the infections in the country have occurred. You can only leave for strict work, medical or emergency reasons.
They are the region of Lombardy and the provinces of Piacenza, Modena, Reggio Emilia, Parma and Rimini, in Emilia-Romagna (north); Venice, Padua and Trevisto, in Veneto (north); Pesaro and Urbino, in Marche (center), and Vercelli, Novara, Verbano-Cusio-Ossola, Alessandria and Asti, in the Piedmont region (northwest).
Since the decree was issued on Sunday night, regions, provinces and municipalities have demanded clarification on how they should implement it and have even declared some confusion.
PEOPLE WITHOUT REASON NO, GOODS YES
The decree, among other things, asks to “avoid” the movement of natural persons either to enter or leave the affected territories, as well as within them.
But the inhabitants of the controlled areas will be able to move within them or leave them for proven work reasons or other authentic demands, such as health problems.
It is established, of course, the “absolute prohibition” to break the quarantine to those who have tested positive for the coronavirus.
This blockade does not affect the traffic of goods, which can enter and leave these territories, the most industrialized in Italy, but carriers must be limited to “the requirements for delivery or withdrawal of goods”, reads in an official note.
AN ARDUO CONTROL IN FOUR REGIONS BY EARTH, SEA AND AIR
One of the doubts raised by the decree was the way in which such a wide area would be controlled. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said the security forces would take care of it.
The first red zones, eleven small municipalities of Lombardy and Veneto with a total of 55,000 inhabitants, were guarded by the army. Now isolated areas have increased enormously and militarize them is impossible.
The Minister of the Interior, Luciana Lamorgese, last night sent a directive to the Government delegates explaining that the controls should be carried out by land, sea and air.
The document states that in order to move in or from the “reinforced containment” zone, a “self-certification” will be sufficient in which the insured person follows work or health reasons.
The Police will control the accesses by road and collect those certificates, whose veracity “can be analyzed successively”.
As for rail transport, the Police, together with members of Civil Protection and “Ferrovie dello Stato”, will control the entry and exit of these areas by collecting certificates and verifying the health of travelers by measuring the temperature.
In airports, such as Milan for example, passengers leaving or entering will be subject to a check and must present the certificate, but not those who only make a stopover.
For international flights, inside or outside the European Schengen area, only the inhabitants of those territories must present the certificate. For those arriving from outside of Italy, passengers “must explain the reason for their trip”.
Identical measures will affect travelers on cruise ships arriving in Venice, where they will not be able to disembark because they are in the isolated area but may momentarily travel to reach other necessary infrastructures on their trips.
FINES AND UP TO PRISON FOR THOSE WHO BREAK THE LOCK
The Interior directive establishes sanctions for those who violate the isolation of this area without the aforementioned reasons. Specifically, they will violate article 650 of the Criminal Code that entails arrests of up to three months and penalties of 206 euros for contempt.
But the sanctions may increase if an infected person breaks their quarantine, as it would incur a malicious crime against public health.
Article 452 of the Criminal Code stipulates sentences ranging from 3 years in prison to life imprisonment if a subject unleashes an epidemic or contaminates water, food or other consumer goods.
LIMITATIONS ON THE REST OF ITALY
In the rest of Italy there are still a number of limitations in place to curb contagion, such as the suspension of lessons in schools and universities and cultural events and events that lead to agglomerations, from cinema to discos.
In addition ten regions of the center and the south have established controls for people coming from isolated areas of the north or who have traveled through them. They must notify the health authorities upon arrival and be in quarantine for 14 days.
They are Tuscany, Lazio, Apulia, Calabria, Molise, Basilicata, Abruzzo, Campania and the islands of Sicily and Sardinia.