Covid-19: Italy extends regional travel ban until 27 March

Travel between Italy’s regions remains prohibited until the spring.

Italy has banned inter-regional travel until 27 March after the premier Mario Draghi government extended an existing ban that was due to expire this week.

The ban on traveling between Italy’s regions, as part of nationwide measures to curb covid-19, was extended a couple of weeks ago in one of the outgoing Conte government’s last acts.

The measure applies to all non-essential movement between regions and autonomous provinces in Italy, with travel only permitted for urgent or necessary reasons such as health, work, or those who need to return home.

Italy’s health minister Roberto Speranza said the measure was “indispensable” to combat the spread of virus variants – reports news agency ANSA – as regional affairs minister Maria Stella Gelmini pledged that “timely” decisions on coronavirus restrictions would be made in agreement with regional authorities.

Italy’s new government caused an outcry earlier this month after revoking a decision to reopen ski slopes in lower risk ‘yellow zones’ just hours before they were due to open for business.

Ski resorts will remain closed until at least 5 March, when a new emergency covid-19 decree is due to come into force.