COVID-19 in Milan kept a lot of people at home and bored. Many people were tired of eating their own cooked meals and staying at home, so when the government eased the lockdown on May 4th, Navigli was full of people, nullifying the social distancing that is still in place and being enforced.
The Italian government, however, stated that maintaining social distancing, wearing a mask over the nose, and filling out a self-certification form could be required necessary next time you go out for a meal in Milan or anywhere else in Italy.
The Italian government stated on May 12th that bars and restaurants will be allowed to open again from Monday, May 18th. That is two weeks earlier than planned for the gradual easing of rules under phase two of the lockdown.
Restaurants and bars will only be able to reopen after approval by authorities in each of Italy’s 20 regions. This means that rules will differ from region to region. Maybe rules will be more stringent in regions that were marked red zones during the peak of the pandemic.
As stated earlier, rules for restaurants on COVID-19 in Milan will differ from other cities and towns in Italy, but this is what we can expect:
- Any establishment smaller than 25 square metres will only be able to allow one customer at a time inside.
- No buffets will be allowed – so all-you-can-eat aperitivo.
- Restaurants have to ensure there’s adequate ventilation in dining areas.
- Advance reservations will be required to prevent crowds.
- Masks may need to be worn at the cash register or when in line, and when you go to the bathroom.
- Customers will have to maintain enough distance to avoid transmitting infections. Maybe there would be signals like we already have on trains and in some supermarkets to show the distance you need to maintain between other people in the restaurants.
- Tables will need to be spaced at least two metres to four metres apart.
- In some areas, you may need to declare via a self-certification form your relationship to any person you’re dining with, to help restaurant owners comply with regulations.
For workers, an official document was released on May 13th, setting out guidelines from the Higher Health Institute (ISS) and INAIL, which is the national workplace accident insurance institute. (You can see the entire document in Italian here.)
Business owners will be expected to enforce these safety measures, and police will be visiting to check the rules are being followed.
The government can intervene and enforce tougher restrictions if there’s an increase in contagion following the ease up of the rules.