Corona and Democracy - Italy

On this page, we are collecting information on the effects of the measures taken to halt the spread of the COVID-19 virus on democracy in Italy.

Information on COVID-19 measures and democracy

Type of measures Measures & sources
Limitations to freedom of movement
  • Since 09/03 the government imposed national quarantine, restriction of movement of the whole population with exception of proven working needs, cases of absolute urgency and primary necessities (as doing groceries or going to the pharmacy). The ban on non-essential travel and limitation of free movement has been prolonged until the 13/04.

  • For those who do not respect the prohibition to leave their home, the fine is form 400 up to 3000 euro. For those who are in quarantine because they are tested positive to the virus and leave their homes, the penalty is 1 to 5 years in prison. 

   10 April:

  • The government announced the extension of the lockdown until 3 May.

   4 May:

  • Some restrictions have been eased regarding business and the possibility to travel within their regions to visit relatives and "stable affections".

   16 May:

  • Restrictions on movement within regions will end on May 18. Also, the government announced that starting 3 June, the borders will be open again and it will be allowed to travel to and from abroad.
Limitations to electoral rights
  • The referendum on cutting the number of Italian MPs scheduled for March 29 has been postponed until further notice
  • There are discussions in place to postpone the administrative and regional elections planned for May and June to autumn. There is no final decision yet.

   20 April:

  • The government announced the postponement of the regional and administrative elections scheduled for May and June 2020 to the Autumn. No date has been announced yet.
Limitation to civil rights
  • Since 06/03, the activities of the court has been suspended and the non-urgent sessions are cancelled until 15 April May. The closure should be postponed until 3 May.
  • The government has introduced the possibility of holding, remotely and in consideration of the state of emergency, the court hearings remotely and to sign the judicial measures in digital form. Works have been done to digitalize the work of the court and carry out the court sessions in videoconference until 30 June.
Risks to data security
  • Since 09/03 the Protezione Civile has extraordinary powers in terms of privacy. The measure allows the use and communication of personal data to control the spread of the virus and health care assistance. Since 06/04, the government has activated satellite to monitor activities and public spaces during the COVID-19 emergency
  • The Region Lombardia is using the data of mobile traffic (anonymously) to monitor the displacement data of the population.
Limitations to freedom of information
  • The government is setting up a task force against fake news. The main goal of the task force would be to interface with social platforms to check what actions they are taking to counter disinformation and the circulation of false news.
Emergency powers for government
  • Since 31/01 (till 31/07), the government proclaimed the state of health emergency. This means that the government gives to the Council of Ministers and Protezione Civile (Civil Protection) extraordinary powers, as the power of ordinance. For example, the power of restricting temporarily some of the citizens’ freedom rights.
Corona laws - full text
Last updated on 08.06.2020

Please note that we are constantly updating the information under rapidly changing circumstances, the information on this page should not be taken to be a complete overview of measures in a country. 

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