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FAQ - Covid-19, questions and answers


Last check date: 3 June 2020

Containment measures in Italy

1. What containment measures are planned in Italy?

The Decree- law of May 16,  2020, n. 33 outlines the framework of the so-called "Phase 2".
The decree DPCM May 17 2020 defines the new prevention and containment measures for co-existing with the coronavirus during the resumption of productive, commercial, and social activities.


Read more 

2. What is Immuni?

Immuni is an app that helps us fight epidemics—starting with COVID-19:

  • the app aims to notify users at risk of carrying the virus as early as possible—even when they are asymptomatic.
  • these users can then self-isolate to avoid infecting others. This minimises the spread of the virus, while speeding up a return to normal life for most people.
  • by being alerted early, these users can also contact their general practitioner promptly and lower the risk of serious consequences.

All the relevant information about the functioning of the system is available on the:

Support is available from a toll-free number, 800 91 24 91, from 8am to 20pm.

3. Are citizens allowed to move around the country?

According to the  Decree Law of May 16, 2020, n. 33, starting on May 18, travelling on the Italian national territory will be regulated as follows:

Travelling within the Region
As from  May 18, 2020, all measures restricting movement within the regional territory shall cease to have effect. Those measures may be adopted or repeated only regarding specific areas of the territory affected by a worsening of the epidemiological situation.

Travelling between Regions from May 18 to June 2
Until  June 2, 2020,
it is forbidden to travel, by public or private transport, to a region other than the one in which you are currently located, except for proven work reasons, absolute urgency, or for health reasons; in any case, you are allowed to return to your home, domicile, or legal residence.

Travelling between Regions from June 3
From 3 June 2020,
travel between regions will be permitted. Inter-regional travel may be limited only by measures taken in relation to specific areas of the national territory, in accordance with the principles of adequacy and proportionality to the epidemiological actual risk present in those areas.

It is advisable to contact the regional emergency COVID-19 toll free number of your specific Region for further information, also with reference to any existing requirements for quarantine and fiduciary isolation, upon return from your travels.

4. What is recommended to all Italian citizens?


  • It is forbidden to citizens with a respiratory infection characterized by fever (higher than 37.5° C) to leave their home or place of residence. These citizens are required to immediately contact their doctor.
  • The gathering of people in public places or places open to the public is prohibited.
  • It is forbidden to citizens who are subject to quarantine by order of the health authority to leave their home or place of residence
  • Sports events and competitions of any order and discipline, in public or private places, are suspended.
  • All conference or convention activities are suspended.

Permitted activities with limitations

  • Access to parks, villas and public gardens is allowed, subject to strict compliance with the ban on assembly, as well as with the interpersonal safety distance of at least one metre; minors are allowed access, even together with family members or other persons habitually living together or in charge of their care, to play areas in parks, villas and public gardens, to carry out outdoor leisure or recreational activities.
  • Outdoors sports and exercise activities are permitted, also in equipped areas and public parks, where accessible, provided that the interpersonal safety distance of at least two metres for the sports activity and at least one metre for any other activity is respected, unless the presence of an accompanying person is necessary for minors or persons who are not completely self-sufficient.
  • Training sessions for professional and non-professional athletes, individual and team sports are allowed, in compliance with the rules of social distancing and without any gathering, behind closed doors. Only athletes, professionals and non-professionals, recognized as being of national interest by the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI), the Italian Paralympic Committee (CIP) and their respective federations, with a view to their participation in competitions at national and international level, may travel from one region to another, subject to being summoned by the federation to which they belong.
  • Public events shall be permitted or held, only in static form, provided that the prescribed social distances and other restraint measures are observed.
  • Access to places of worship is permitted, avoiding assembly of large groups and taking into account the size and characteristics of the facilities, which must guarantee a distance of at least one metre between visitors.
  • Religious functions with the participation of people are permitted, in compliance with the protocols signed by the Government and the respective confessions, containing the appropriate measures to prevent the risk of contagion.
  • Museums and other cultural institutes are open and their services are guaranteed, taking into account the size and characteristics of the premises open to the public, as well as the visitors flow, with restricted access and avoiding large crowds, by ensuring a on metre minimum distance between visitors.
  • Educational/school activities carried out remotely are permitted.
  • From May 20, 2020, courses and theory/practice tests carried out by the Department of Motor Vehicles and driving schools will resume.
  • From May 25, 2020, basic sports activities and general training/exercise activities are permitted in gyms, swimming pools, sports centres and clubs, both public and private, or in other facilities, where activities aimed at the wellbeing of the individual are carried out through physical exercise, in compliance with the rules of social distancing and without any assembly.
  • From June 15, 2020, performances open to the public in theatres, concert halls, cinemas and other open-air spaces with pre-assigned and distanced seats are permitted, ensuring respect for the interpersonal distance of at least one metre for both staff and audience, with a maximum number of 1000 spectators for outdoor performances and 200 people for indoor performances, for each individual hall. The Regions and Autonomous Provinces may set a different date, in relation to the epidemiological situation in their own territories.

It is also advised that all citizens respect simple preventive recommendations.

5. Which shops and services are open?

Starting from May 18, economic, productive, and social activities are resuming, in compliance with protocols and/or guidelines aimed at preventing or reducing contagion.

To ensure that the activities are carried out safely, Regions will monitor the epidemiological situation in their territories daily. Conditions and suitability of each regional health system shall be reassessed accordingly, in relation to the development of the epidemiological situation in the regional territory. The situation shall be ascertained according to the criteria established by the Decree of the Minister of Health, April 20, 2020

Each Region, after informing the Minister of Health, may introduce derogatory, extensive, or restrictive measures.

The following activities will remain closed:

  • Skiing facilities
  • Amusement arcades, betting, and bingo halls
  • Activities taking place in dance halls, discotheques and similar premises, outdoor or indoor
  • Trade fairs and congress facilities
  • Wellness centres, spas (except for the provision of services falling within the essential levels of care)
  • Activities taking place in cultural and social centres.
6. Who should I contact?

If you have flu symptoms or think you might be at risk of infection, stay at home, do not go to the emergency room or the doctor's surgery but call your family doctor, paediatrician or the ‘guardia medica’ (out-of-hours primary care service). Alternatively, call the regional information hotline. 

Find out more:

7. Where can I find more information about the novel Coronavirus?

The Ministry of Health has set up dedicated website: www.salute.gov.it/nuovocoronavirus 

The Regions have activated local helpsline to handle the many requests for information and advice.

Find out more on Ministry's website:

You can find specific information for schools, universities and art and music colleges in the dedicated page of the Ministry of University and Research and the Ministry of Education. 

Updates on the evolution of the outbreak are released daily by the Civil Protection and published in the dedicated pages Situation in Italy  and Situation in the world of the Ministry's website.

Go to the Civil Protection website

If you are planning to travel abroad, you will find useful information on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ travel advice website Viaggiare sicuri.

More information is available on the Epicentro website of the National Institute of Health (ISS).

8. Can I get a prescription from my doctor by email or cell phone message?

Yes. By Order of 19 March 2020, you can now get the ‘Electronic Prescription Number’ from your doctor without having to pick up a paper prescription. This is a further measure to reduce the movement of people and stop the spread of the novel coronavirus infection.

Your doctor may:

  • send you the prescription by certified e-mail (PEC) or ordinary e-mail;
  • give you the Electronic Prescription Number by telephone, text message or mobile messaging app

After receiving the Electronic Prescription Number and the tax identification number on your health card, the pharmacist will supply you with the medication.

9. With the introduction of national restrictive measures, have the activities of anti-violence centres for women been suspended?

No, the anti-violence centres remain open and accessible without restrictions.

Women who are victims of violence and stalking can:

  • ask the Police for help
  • call the toll-free number 1522, active 24/7
  • Use the App1522 for smartphones
  • use the YouPol App to send real time messages to Police operators
  • go to the Emergency Room to request immediate urgent medical care. Social and health workers in the Emergency Room will also be able to advise and direct you towards a path leading you out of violence
  • go to the chemist, in case you cannot immediately reach an Anti-Violence Centre or Emergency Room
  • contact the AIDS and STI helpline 800 861061 if you have been sexually assaulted. The helpline is active Monday to Friday, from 1pm to 6pm, or go the website www.uniticontrolaids.it
  • with no hesitation or further delay, call 112 if:
    • if you have suffered a physical assault or threat of physical assault
    • if you have suffered psychological violence
    • if you are running away with your children (this way you will avoid a child abduction charge).
    • if the abuser has weapons.

Download the infographics.

10. I Am deaf, where can I ask for information?

You can write an email to 1500coronavirus@sanita.it. You will be answered by doctors ready to give you the explanations and help you need.

11. Where can I find information on measures for citizens with disabilities?

The Presidency of the Council of Ministers and the Ministry of Health publish all updates regarding the new Coronavirus on the website: www.salute.gov.it/nuovocoronavirus

The Office for Policies in Favour of Citizens with Disabilities publishes specific updates relating to regulations applying to citizens with disabilities on the following website:

New Coronavirus: Frequently Asked Questions for Citizens with Disabilities

In addition to answers to the most frequently asked questions about the measures taken by the Government for people with disabilities and their families, the website also contains the Ministry of Health's vademecum in an accessible format.

The announcements of the Civil Protection Department are available, also in LIS (Italian Sign Language) version, on the YouTube Department channel.

Extracts of the announcements are available, in writing, on the Department website.  

12. I would like to make a donation to give my contribution during this national emergency, how can I donate?

The Civil Protection website has opened a bank account dedicated to the New Coronavirus emergency.

You will find the relevant information on the page: Coronavirus Emergency: the current account to make your donation is now active

You may also make a donation to the financial support fund dedicated to the families of deceased health care workers because of the Covid-19 emergency. This fund has been set up by the Civil Protection. Donations can be made by bank transfer, both from Italy and abroad.

Read more:

For further information:

Covid-19 Donation page 

13. What monitoring device has been introduced for this virus nationwide?

For the management of Phase 2, a specific monitoring system on epidemiological data and response capacity of regional health services has been activated, introduced with the decree of the Ministry of Health of April 30, 2020. The monitoring is developed by a “control booth” consisting of the Ministry of Health, the Higher Institute of Health and the Regions.

In Italy, specific surveillance for this virus is also active at national level since the beginning of the epidemic.

The situation is constantly monitored by the Ministry, which is in permanent contact with the WHO, the ECDC, the European Commission and promptly publishes any new updates on the portal www.salute.gov.it/nuovocoronavirus.

In view of the WHO's declaration of an "International Public Health Emergency", the Council of Ministers declared a state of emergency on  January 31, 2020, because of the health risk associated with Coronavirus infection.

14. What do the R0 and Rt values indicate?

The R0 value (reads R with zero), i.e. the "basic reproduction number", indicates the average number of infections directly caused by each infected individual, at the beginning of the epidemic and in the absence of containment measures. If R0 is 2 it means that on average each infected person will infect two people, if it is 3 it will infect 3, each of which will infect the same number of people.
The higher the R0 value, the higher the risk of spreading the virus.
If R0 is less than 1 (i.e. each infected person will infect less than one), it means that the infection will tend to die out naturally, because the number of infected people will gradually decrease.

Rt (reads R with t) is the expression of the same index at a given time of the epidemic, depending on the containment measures undertaken.
The closer Rt is to zero, the faster the infection is eliminated in the population.
Rt makes it possible to measure the effectiveness of any prevention and restriction measures adopted to limit and contrast the spread of the disease.

15. What does it mean that those who have been in contact with SARS-CoV-2 positive people in the previous days are not allowed to attend a religious service?

“Contact" is to be understood as "close contact" with a probable or confirmed case, as defined by the Circular of the Ministry of Health of March 9, 2020, namely:

  • a person living in the same house as a COVID-19 case
  • a person who has had direct physical contact with a COVID-19 case (e.g. handshake)
  • a person who has had unprotected direct contact with the secretions of a case of COVID-19 (e.g. touching used paper tissues with bare hands)
  • a person who has had direct (face-to-face) contact with a case of COVID-19, at less than 2 metres and lasting longer than 15 minutes
  • a person who has been in an enclosed environment (e.g. classroom, meeting room, hospital waiting room) with a case of COVID-19 for at least 15 minutes, at less than 2 meters
  • a health care professional or other person providing direct assistance to a COVID19 case or laboratory personnel handling samples of a COVID-19 case, without using the recommended PPE or having used unsuitable PPE
  • a person who has travelled seated on an aircraft in the two adjacent seats, in any direction, of a COVID-19 case, as well as his or her travelling companions or caregivers and crew members sitting in the section of the aircraft where the index case was seated (if the index case has severe symptoms or has moved within the aircraft, resulting in increased passenger exposure, consider all passengers seated in the same section of the aircraft or throughout the aircraft as close contacts).

In this case, the epidemiological link may have taken place within a period of 14 days, before the onset of the disease.

16. I am a health care worker working in a COVID-19 department. Can I attend religious services?

Yes, access to a place of worship is permitted, as long as appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) has always been used during the healthcare activity provided.

17. What is meant by quarantine, active surveillance, and fiduciary isolation? What are the differences?

Quarantine is a period of isolation and observation, of different lengths of time, that is required for people who may carry germs that are responsible for infectious diseases.
The advised time for quarantine may vary, according to the different infectious diseases and  in relation to the incubation period identified for that particular infectious disease.
For the new Coronavirus, the quarantine time has been set to fourteen days.
Quarantine is used to keep those who may have been exposed to an infectious agent, such as SARS-CoV-2, away from others. Quarantine helps prevent the spread of disease by potentially infected people before they know they are sick.
People in quarantine must stay at home, monitor their health conditions, and follow the health and hygiene instructions provided by a public healthcare professional and required by law.

Fiduciary isolation is used to separate people with a confirmed contagious disease from those who are not infected.
People who are in isolation must stay at home, separate from the other persons living in the same household (keeping to their own room and using, if available, a separate bathroom), monitor their state of health and follow the hygienic-sanitary indications provided by a public healthcare professional, according to the regulations in force.

Active surveillance is a measure that involves a public healthcare professional, who contacts the person under surveillance on a daily basis, in order to obtain information on their health conditions.


Travel and movement

1. What is recommended to travellers?

From June 3, people will be allowed to travel freely from and to the following States:

  • Member States of the European Union (besides Italy, the following are EU Member States: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the Czech Republic);
  • States party to the Schengen Agreement (non-EU States party to the Schengen Agreement are: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland);
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland;
  • Andorra, Principality of Monaco;
  • Republic of San Marino and Vatican City State.

From 3 June, persons travelling to Italy from these countries will no longer be required to self-isolate under the supervision of the health authorities for 14 days, unless they have stayed in other Countries during a 14-day period prior to entering Italy. For example, persons travelling to Italy from France on June 14 will be required to self-isolate only if they travelled to France from the United States, for example, on June 4; however, they will not be required to self-isolate if they travelled to France from the United States prior to May 30, or if they stayed in Germany between May 31 and June 13.

As far as travelling to and from States and territories other than those listed above, the basic rules are similar to the previous ones.

Travelling to and from these countries will continue to be permitted only for proven work needs, absolute urgency or for health reasons; in any case, it is still permitted to return to one's own domicile, home, or residence. Those who enter or return to Italy from States or territories other than those listed above, must spend a period of 14 days of health surveillance and fiduciary isolation at their home, or at another location of residence selected by the person concerned. Should the person concerned not select a location of residence, it will be determined by the regional Civil Protection.

Therefore, a self certification form will be required in case of entry into Italy from abroad when travelling from States and territories other than those listed above.


For further information please refer to:

2. What are the WHO’s recommendations for countries?

The WHO encourages all countries to strengthen preventive measures, active surveillance, early detection of cases, their isolation following appropriate management and containment procedures, and accurate contact tracing to prevent further spread.

Countries are asked to continue to improve their preparedness for health emergencies in line with International Health Regulations (2005) and to share information on cases and on the measures they implement.

3. Where are the COVID-19 cases happening?

On March 11th, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the international outbreak of the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 infection can be considered a pandemic.

The epidemiological situation is constantly evolving. Every day the WHO publishes the epidemiological update of the disease on the page Coronavirus disease (COVID-2019) situation reports.

Learn more about the New Coronavirus on the following website pages:


About the virus and the disease

1. What is a coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses known to cause diseases ranging from the common cold to more serious diseases such as the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

They are positive-stranded RNA viruses with a crown-like appearance under the electron microscope. The subfamily Orthocoronavirinae of the family Coronaviridae is further classified into four coronavirus (CoV) genera: Alpha-, Beta-, Delta- and Gammacoronavirus. The Betacoronavirus genus is further divided into five subgenera (including the Sarbecovirus)

Coronaviruses were identified in the mid-1960s and are known to infect humans and a variety of animals (including birds and mammals). Epithelial cells in the respiratory and gastrointestinal tract are the primary target cells.

To date, seven coronaviruses have been shown to infect humans:

  • Common human coronaviruses: HCoV-OC43 and HCoV-HKU1 (Betacoronavirus) and HCoV-229E and HCoV-NL63 (Alphacoronavirus); they can cause common colds but also severe lower respiratory tract infections.
  • other human Coronaviruses (Betacoronavirus): SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV and 2019-nCoV (now named SARS-CoV-2)
2. What is a novel coronavirus?

A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain of coronavirus never previously identified in humans. In particular, the virus named SARS-CoV-2 (formerly 2019-nCoV), was never identified before it was reported in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.

3. What is SARS-Cov-2?

The virus that is causing the current coronavirus outbreak has been named ‘severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2’ (SARS-CoV-2). This designation was communicated by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV), virus taxa (i.e. species, genus, family, etc.). The name was given by a group of experts specially appointed to study the novel coronavirus. According to this pool of scientists, the novel coronavirus is a sister to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronaviruses (SARS-CoVs); this is why it has been named SARS-CoV-2.

4. What is COVID-19?

The disease caused by the novel Coronavirus has been named ‘COVID-19’ (where "CO" stands for corona, "VI" for virus, "D" for disease and "19" indicates the year in which it occurred). This was announced on 11 February 2020 by the Director-General of the WHO, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

5. Is the new virus the same as SARS?

No. The novel Coronavirus (now named SARS-CoV-2, formerly labelled 2019-nCoV) belongs to the same family of viruses as the Acute Severe Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) virus, but it is not the same virus.

The novel Coronavirus, which is responsible for the respiratory disease now named COVID-19, is closely related to the SARS-CoV and is genetically classified in the genus Betacoronavirus, subgenus Sarbecovirus.

6. Why did the novel coronavirus appear?

The appearance of new viruses that originally only infected animals but then make the jump from animal to humans is a well-known phenomenon (‘spillover’), and this is what seems to have happened with the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). Currently, the scientific community is trying to identify the source of the infection.

Source: ISS - National Institute of Health 

7. Is the source of the coronavirus causing COVID-19 known?

To date, the source of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, is unknown. Available evidence suggests that SARS-CoV-2 is of animal origin and is not a constructed virus. Most likely the ecological reservoir of SARS-CoV-2 resides in bats. SARS-CoV-2 belongs to a group of genetically related viruses, including SARS-CoV (the coronavirus causing SARS) and a number of other coronaviruses isolated from bat populations.

Source: WHO 



1. What are the symptoms of Covid-19?
The most common symptoms of Covid-19 are fever, fatigue, and dry cough. Some patients may experience soreness and muscle pain, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat, or diarrhoea. These symptoms are generally mild and start gradually. In the most severe cases, the infection may cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.

Recently, anosmia/hyposmia (loss/diminution of smell), and in some cases ageusia (loss of taste) have been reported as symptoms related to the Covid-19 infection. Data from South Korea, China and Italy show that in some cases patients with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection developed anosmia/hyposmia in the absence of other symptoms.

2. How dangerous is the new virus?

Some people get infected but do not develop any symptoms. Symptoms are usually mild, especially in children and young adults, and have a gradual onset.

About 1 in 5 people with COVID-19 become seriously ill and develop breathing difficulties, requiring hospitalization. 

3. How long is the incubation period?

The incubation period is the time between infection and the onset of clinical symptoms of disease. It is currently estimated to range between 2 and 11 days, up to a maximum of 14 days.

4. Who are the people most at risk of developing a severe form of the disease?

People at higher risk for severe COVID-19 are senior citizens, people with underlying conditions such as hypertension, heart disease or diabetes and individuals with a weakened immune system (due to congenital or acquired disease or to immunosuppressive treatment, transplant recipients).


How the virus spreads

1. Can Coronaviruses and the novel Coronavirus be transmitted from person to person?

Yes, some Coronaviruses can be transmitted from person to person, usually after close contact with an infected patient, for example, between family members or in a healthcare centre.

The novel Coronavirus responsible for respiratory disease COVID-19 can also be transmitted from person to person through close contact with a probable or confirmed case.

2. How is the novel Coronavirus transmitted from person to person?

The new coronavirus is a respiratory virus which spreads primarily through close contact with an infected person. The primary route is through respiratory droplets from the infected persons, for example through:

  • droplets of saliva, coughing and sneezing
  • close personal contact
  • touching an object or surface contaminated with the virus, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands

In rare cases, faecal contamination.

Normally, respiratory diseases cannot be passed on through food. However, safe food hygiene practices should be followed, and contact should be avoided between raw and cooked food.

Studies are under way to better understand how the virus is transmitted.

3. What is the definition of close contact?

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control defines close contact as follows:

  • A person living in the same household as a COVID-19 case;
  • A person having had direct physical contact with a COVID-19 case (e.g. shaking hands);
  • A person having unprotected direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (e.g. touching used paper tissues with a bare hand);
  • A person having had face-to-face contact with a COVID-19 case within 2 metres and > 15 minutes;
  • A person who was in a closed environment (e.g. classroom, meeting room, hospital waiting room, etc.) with a COVID-19 case for 15 minutes or more and at a distance of less than 2 metres;
  • A healthcare worker (HCW) or other person providing direct care for a COVID-19 case, or laboratory workers handling specimens from a COVID-19 case without recommended personal protective equipment (PPE) or with a possible breach of PPE;
  • A contact in an aircraft sitting within two seats (in any direction) of the COVID-19 case, travel companions or persons providing care, and crew members serving in the section of the aircraft where the index case was seated (if severity of symptoms or movement of the case indicate more extensive exposure, passengers seated in the entire section or all passengers on the aircraft may be considered close contacts).

The epidemiological link to a probable or confirmed case may have occurred within a 14‐day period before the onset of illness in the suspected case under consideration.

Source: ECDC

4. How to manage a close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case?

Under the Ministry’s orders, the local health authorities must place any close contacts of a probable or confirmed case under quarantine with active surveillance for 14 days.

5. Can the new Coronavirus infection be contracted by a case that presents no symptoms (asymptomatic)?

It is known that the virus spreads mainly through respiratory droplets expelled by coughing or other symptoms.

However, some evidence suggests that transmission can also occur from an infected person, who has only mild symptoms.

Some reports have also indicated that people without symptoms can also transmit the virus. This is particularly true in the early stages of the disease, especially two days before symptoms develop. Studies to assess the likelihood of such event are currently underway.

6. Who is at greater risk of infection?

People who live or have travelled in areas at risk of novel coronavirus infection or people who have been in close contact with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19. 

The areas at risk of novel coronavirus infection are those where local transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is present, as identified by the World Health Organization. The risk level in those areas is higher than in areas where only imported cases are present. 

7. Are health workers at risk from a novel coronavirus?

Yes, they can be, because they come into contact with patients more often than the general population. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that health workers follow appropriate prevention and control measures for infections in general and respiratory infections in particular.

8. When can a confirmed case of COVID-19 be declared recovered?

A COVID-19 patient can be considered cured after the resolution of symptoms (fever, rhinitis, cough, sore throat, difficulty breathing, pneumonia) and after two negative swab tests for SARS-CoV-2 performed 24 hours apart.

9. Can the new coronavirus be transmitted by mosquitoes?
To date there is no scientific evidence of transmission through ticks, mosquitoes, or other insects, which can carry other types of viruses (arbovirus), which are responsible for diseases that are completely different from Covid-19, such as dengue and yellow fever.

Moreover, there is currently no data to suggest that other coronaviruses of the same family of SARS-CoV-2 (such as SARS and MERS viruses) can be transmitted by mosquitoes. It is therefore highly unlikely.


Surfaces and hygiene

1. How long does the novel Coronavirus survive on surfaces?

Currently available scientific evidence shows that the survival time of the virus on surfaces varies depending on the type of surface considered. The recent report of the Higher Institute of Health  concerning the recommendations on the sanitization of non-healthcare facilities in the current COVID-19 emergency (surfaces, indoor environments and clothing) and the May 22, 2020 memo report the detection time of viral particles on the most common surfaces, varying from several hours (e.g. on paper) to several days (e.g. on plastic and stainless steel).

However, it must be considered that the data available so far, being generated by experimental conditions, must be interpreted with caution, also taking into account that the presence of viral RNA does not necessarily indicate that the virus is vital and potentially infectious.

The use of simple disinfectants can kill the virus by eliminating its ability to infect people, e.g. disinfectants containing alcohol (ethanol) or sodium hypochlorite (bleach).

Remember to clean frequently used items (mobile phone, earphones, microphone) first with soap and water or other neutral detergents and then disinfect them with products containing sodium hypochlorite (bleach) or ethanol (alcohol), following the manufacturer's instructions.

Read the ISS report Interim recommendations on sanitizing non-health care facilities during the current COVID-19 emergency: surfaces, indoor spaces, and clothing.

2. What are the rules for sanitization/hand washing?

The purpose of hand washing is to ensure proper hand cleansing and hygiene through mechanical action.

Common soap is sufficient for hand hygiene. In the absence of water, so-called alcohol-based hand sanitizers can be used.

If soap is used, it is important to rub your hands for at least 60 seconds. If soap is not available, use a hydroalcoholic solution for at least 20-30 seconds.

Commercially available products for hand sanitization in the absence of soap and water (medical and surgical devices and authorised biocides with microbicidal action) should be used when the hands are dry, otherwise they are not effective.

It is important to wash your hands:


  • touching each other's eyes/nose/mouth (e.g. to smoke, use contact lenses, brush teeth, etc.).
  • eating
  • taking medications or administering medications to others

Before and after

  • handling food, especially raw food
  • using toilets,
  • medicating or touching a wound
  • changing a baby's diaper
  • touching a sick person
  • touching an animal


  • attending public places (shops, clinics, stations, gyms, schools, cinemas, bus, office, etc.) and, in general, as soon as you return home
  • handling garbage
  • using money
  • touching other people.

It is also a good practice to cough/sneeze in your elbow crease to avoid contaminating your hands, with which you can subsequently transmit your microorganisms (e.g. by touching your mobile phone, door handle, etc.).

Finally, it is recommended to use disposable tissues to blow your nose, (possibly eco-friendly tissues), and to dispose of them in the waste, washing your hands, immediately after use.

3. What is the difference between sanitation, disinfection, sanitization, and other cleaning procedure

Sanitization: it is a "series of cleaning and/or disinfection procedures and operations", which includes the maintenance of good air quality, changing the air frequently in all environments.

Disinfection: is a treatment to reduce the microbial load of environments, surfaces and materials and must be carried out using disinfectant products (biocides or medical and surgical devices) authorized by the Ministry of Health. These products must be labelled with the registration/authorisation number.

Hygiene: this is the equivalent of cleaning and is intended to make the environment hygienic, i.e. to clean the environment by eliminating the harmful substances present. Products without an authorisation from the Ministry of Health, which are labelled with indications on their activity, e.g. against germs and bacteria, are not products with a proven disinfectant activity but are simply environmental cleaners (sanitisers).

Cleansing: consists in the removal of dirt and microorganisms, with a subsequent reduction of the microbial load. Cleaning is mandatory before disinfection and sterilization because the dirt is rich in microorganisms that actively multiply in it and can reduce the activity of disinfectants.

Cleaning: cleaning is carried out using environmental cleaning/hygienising products - the two terms are equivalent - which remove dirt by mechanical or physical action.

Sterilization: physical or chemical process that leads to the targeted destruction of every living microbial form, both in vegetative and spore form.

Read more 

4. Is it safe to receive packages from countries where COVID-19 has been reported?

Yes. The WHO has stated that the likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low and the risk of catching the virus from a package that has been exposed to different conditions and temperature is also low. 

5. Is it necessary to spray the streets with disinfectants (e.g. hypochlorite)?

There is no evidence that walking surfaces are involved in transmission of the virus. Moreover, spraying hypochlorite could increase the amount of harmful substances in the environment. Street cleaning with conventional soaps/detergents is still advised.



1. Can humans become infected with the novel coronavirus from animals?

Detailed investigations found that SARS-CoV was transmitted from civet cats to humans in China in 2002 and MERS-CoV from dromedary camels to humans in Saudi Arabia in 2012. Several known coronaviruses are circulating in animals that have not yet infected humans.  As surveillance improves around the world, more coronaviruses are likely to be identified.

The animal source of the novel Coronavirus has not yet been identified. It is likely that the first reported human infections in China were originated by an animal source.

2. Can I get infected from my pet?

There is no evidence that pets play a role in the spread of SARS-CoV-2, as it has been proved that interhuman infection is the main route of transmission.

However, since veterinary surveillance and experimental studies suggest that pets are occasionally susceptible to SARS-CoV-2, it is important to protect pets living with patients with COVID-19 by limiting their exposure. It is recommended to wash hands frequently with soap and water or using alcoholic solutions before and after contact with pet, their litter or food bowl.

3. Are any animals or animal products imported from China?

Due to the presence of some contagious animal diseases in China, only a few live animals and unprocessed animal products from China are authorised for import into the European Union.

There is no evidence that any of the animals or animal products authorised for entry into the European Union pose a risk to the health of EU citizens as a result of the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in China.

4. Is it possible to import food products from China?

As with the imports of animals and animal products, due to the animal health situation in China, only a few products of animal origin are authorised for import into the EU from China, on the condition that they meet strict health requirements and have been subjected to controls.

For the same reasons, travellers entering the EU customs territory are not allowed to carry any meat, meat products, milk or dairy products in their luggage.

5. What should I do when I return from a walk with my dog

When returning from walks, to protect our pet friend, it is advisable to take care of their hygiene, taking special care to wipe their paws, avoiding aggressive and alcohol - based products that could cause any irritations or itching, and preferring to use products without added fragrance (e.g. water and mild soap).

As far as their fur coat is concerned, it is advisable to br ush them and then wipe them with a damp cloth. 

6. If my pet is sick, where do I ask for assistance?

Veterinary assistance is one of the essential services provided for in the recent legislation. Please contact your vet, who will tell you what steps you need to take to take your pet to a clinic.

7. Do I need to change my pet’s diet?

It is recommended not to change your pet’s the diet. However, you could slightly decrease its daily intake, considering that during this period outdoor activity is reduced


Prevention and treatment

1. Is there a vaccine against the novel coronavirus?

No, since this is a new disease, there is currently no vaccine available and it could take up to 12-18 months to develop one.

2. Am I protected from COVID-19 if I got a flu shot this year?

Influenza and the virus that causes COVID-19 are two different viruses and the seasonal flu vaccine does not protect from COVID-19. However, the flu vaccine is strongly recommended because it helps to avoid confusion with COVID-19 if you develop symptoms, enabling earlier isolation of possible coronavirus cases.

3. Is Tuberculosis vaccine (TB) protective against COVID-19?

Since at present there is no scientific evidence that TB vaccine can provide protection against the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), this vaccine remains indicated for vulnerable categories of the population exposed to these infections.

4. Is it necessary to continue with the normal vaccination activities envisaged in the general vaccination schedule?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) it is essential to maintain vaccination appointments, especially for routine vaccinations. During vaccination appointments, it is recommended to observe the preventive measures for COVID-19.

5. What can I do to protect myself?

Please stay up to date with the latest information on the spread of the pandemic, available on the WHO website and on the Italian Ministry of Health website and take the following personal protection measures:

  • wash your hands often. It is strongly recommended to make sure that hydroalcoholic solutions for washing hands are available in all public places, gyms, supermarkets, pharmacies and other gathering places
  • avoid close contact with people with acute respiratory infections;
  • avoid hugs and handshakes;
  • maintain an interpersonal distance of at least 1 meter, when in social contact;
  • respiratory hygiene (sneeze and/or cough in a disposable paper towel and throw it away immediately or wash it after use, then wash your hands well with soap and water or hydroalcoholic solution and dry them thoroughly. avoiding hand contact with any respiratory secretions);
  • avoid communal use of bottles and glasses, in particular during sports activities;
  • do not touch your eyes, nose and mouth with your hands;
  • cover your mouth and nose if you sneeze or cough;
  • do not take antiviral drugs and antibiotics, unless prescribed by your doctor;
  • first, clean surfaces with soap and water or regular mild detergents to remove dirt. Then sanitize all surfaces with sodium hypochlorite or alcohol solutions (bleach). Make sure the solutions are diluted properly
  • during any social contact, it is strongly recommended to use a respiratory tract protection, as an additional measure to other individual health and hygiene protection measures.

If you have a fever, cough or experience any breathing difficulties and you suspect that you have been in close contact with a person with respiratory disease Covid-19:

  • stay at home, do not go to the emergency room or to a doctor's surgery but call your family doctor, paediatrician or the ‘guardia medica’ (out-of-hours primary care service). Alternatively, call the regional telephone information hotline. Call the emergency number 112/118 only if strictly necessary, if your symptoms get worse, or if you experience serious breathing difficulties.
6. Can the virus be transmitted via food?

Normally, respiratory diseases cannot be passed on through food. However, safe food hygiene practices should be followed, and contact between raw and cooked food should be avoided. 

It is safe to drink tap water, thanks to treatment processes that remove viruses, environmental conditions that compromise virus vitality (temperature, sunlight, high pH levels) and the final disinfection step.

Source: ISS - National Institute of Health 

7. What are the recommendations for people in solitary confinement with suspected or confirmed COVID-19?

Anyone with suspect or confirmed COVID-19 should stay away from other family members, if possible, in a well-ventilated single room and should not receive visitors

The sick person must rest, drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious food, and wear a surgical mask that needs to be changed every day. If he/she does not tolerate the mask, he/she must adopt a strict respiratory hygiene: cover his/her mouth and nose with a disposable paper tissue/handkerchief when he/she coughs or sneezes and throw it away immediately, or wash it after use, wash his/her hands with soap and water or with hydroalcoholic solution.

8. What are the recommendations for family members caring for people in home isolation under suspicion of or confirmed COVID-19?
  • The carer must be in good health, have no diseases that put him/her at risk, wear a surgical mask carefully placed on his/her face when in the same room as the patient
  • Hands should be washed thoroughly with soap and water or a hydroalcoholic solution after every contact with the patient or his/her surroundings, before and after preparing food, before eating, after using the bathroom and whenever hands appear dirty.
  • Crockery, cutlery, towels and sheets must be used exclusively by the sick person. They must be washed often with soap and water at 60/90 °C.
  • Surfaces frequently touched by the sick person must be cleaned and disinfected every day
  • If the sick person gets worse or has breathing difficulties, call 112/118 immediately
9. I have completed my self-isolation period. What must I do to return to work?

After completing the home isolation period, if you developed no symptoms, you may return to work. The days you stayed home are covered by the certificate issued at the beginning of the isolation period. 

Should somebody develop symptoms during the period of fiduciary isolation, the Department of Public Health, which is responsible for the national health surveillance, will carry out a test with the SARS-CoV-2 swab. In the event of a positive outcome, clinical recovery (i.e. complete absence of symptoms) is required, before going back to work. At that point, two consecutive swabs will be performed within 24 hours, to confirm that the patient has completely recovered. If both swabs are negative, the person can go back to work, otherwise the fiduciary isolation period will be resumed.

10. Is there a treatment for the novel coronavirus?

At present, there is no specific treatment for the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

Treatment remains mainly based on a symptomatic approach, providing supportive therapies (e.g. oxygen therapy, fluid management) to infected people, which can nevertheless be highly effective.

Several clinical trials are underway for the treatment of COVID-19 disease. The Italian Medicines Agency (AIFA) provides information on its website about the drugs that are made available to COVID-19 patients.

See the dedicated page on the site: Italian Medicines Agency (AIFA)

11. Can antibiotics be useful to prevent infection with novel coronavirus?

No, antibiotics do not work against viruses, they only work on bacterial infections.

12. Can high-blood pressure medications with ACE inhibitors or sartans or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g. ibuprofen) worsen COVID-19?

There is no scientific evidence of any correlation between the use of ibuprofen or antihypertensive drugs and worsening of the COVID-19 disease. Therefore, on the basis of current knowledge, there is no recommendation to change your current treatment.

13. There are psychological support initiatives for people in this time of stress related to the COVID - 19 pandemic

Since April 27th, the psychological support toll-free number 800.833.833, set up by the Ministry of Health and the Civil Protection, is active.

The number, which is active every day from 8AM to midnight, can also be reached from abroad dialling +39.02.20228733. Access to this service is also guaranteed to hearing impaired citizens.

To learn more, go to the page Psychological Support Free-toll Number on the New Coronavirus themed site of the Ministry of Health.


Protective devices

1. When should I wear a mask?

As of May 4th 2020, in order to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus, it is mandatory throughout the country to use respiratory protection in closed spaces that are accessible to the public, including means of transport, and in any case on all occasions when the maintenance of a safe distance cannot be guaranteed.

Children under six years of age, as well as people with disabilities that are not compatible with the continuous use of a mask, their carers and people interacting with them, are not subject to such obligation.

In some regions, the mandatory use of masks has been extended to other contexts.

Within our communities, disposable masks or washable masks may be used, even if they are self-made. The masks should be made of multilayer materials providing an appropriate barrier and guarantee comfort and breathability at the same time. The shape and adherence of a mask should ensure proper coverage, from the chin all the way to above the nose.

The use of community masks is considered an addition to other protective measures aimed at reducing contagion (such as physical distancing and constant and accurate hand hygiene), which remain unchanged and an absolute priority.

It is not useful to wear multiple overlapping surgical masks. A sensible use of surgical masks is important to avoid unnecessary waste of valuable resources.

Watch the video 

2. How should I put on and take off the mask?

Follow these steps:

  • before putting on the mask, wash your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub
  • cover your mouth and nose with the mask ensuring that it is intact and it fits snugly to your face 
  • avoid touching the mask while using it; if you do, wash your hands 
  • when the mask becomes damp, replace it with a new one 
  • you may reuse the mask only if there are relevant instructions on the packaging, including the number of washes allowed without decreasing the safety of the mask
  • remove the mask by handling the elastic band only, without touching the front of the mask and wash your hands immediately after use

Watch the video 

3. Which masks should I use in case of respiratory infection symptoms?
In case of symptoms, it is necessary to use a mask that is certified as a medical device.
4. Is the mask also mandatory for children?
Children must wear a mask from the age of six years and up. It is particularly important to pay attention to the shape of children’s masks, avoiding those that are too large and uncomfortable for their face.
5. Do I have to take special precautions when using the mask?

Before you put the mask on:

  • wash your hands with soap and water, for at least 40-60 seconds, or perform hand hygiene with an alcoholic solution, for at least 20-30 seconds 
  • wear the mask by touching only the elastic bands or ties, taking care not to touch the inside of the mask
  • position the mask correctly by making the upper underwire adhere to the nose and placing it under the chin.
  • make sure that you are wearing your mask properly (for example, the coloured part of surgical masks goes on the outside).

When you are using your mask

  • When adjusting your mask, always handle it using elastic its bands or ties.
  • If you touch your mask while wearing it, you must repeat the hygiene of your hands
  • Do not put the mask in your pocket and do not place it on furniture or shelves.

When you remove your mask

  •  Always handle your mask using its elastic bands or ties.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water or perform hand hygiene with an alcoholic solution.

In case of reusable masks

  • wash at 60 degrees with regular laundry detergent, or according to the manufacturer's instructions, if available; sometimes manufacturers also indicate the maximum number of washings possible, without reducing the performance of the mask
  • after handling a used mask, always wash or clean your hands.  
6. What is the difference between the so-called community masks and surgical masks?

Surgical masks are specifically intended for medical use, developed for use in a healthcare environment and certified according to their filtering capacity.

They respond to the characteristics required by UNI EN ISO 14683-2019 and prevent the transmission of the virus.

Community masks, as described in article 16, paragraph 2, of the Decree-Law DL March 17 2020, have the purpose of reducing the circulation of the virus in daily life and are not subject to any specific certifications.

They should not be considered either medical devices or personal protective equipment, but merely a hygienic measure to reduce the spread of SARS-COV-2 virus.

7. Is it possible to wash community masks?

It is possible to wash community masks, if they are made of materials that resist washing at 60 degrees. Commercial community masks are considered disposable or washable, according to the relevant instructions provided on the packaging. These may also include the number of washes allowed without diminishing their performance

8. What are the requirements of community masks?

These masks must:

  • ensure an adequate barrier for nose and mouth
  • be made of multilayer materials, which must not be toxic, allergenic, or flammable and which do not make it difficult to breathe
  • adhere to the face, covering from chin to nose while ensuring comfort.
9. When do I have to wear gloves?

The use of gloves within the community only adds to the other protective measures aimed at reducing contagion, which remain a priority.

However, the use of disposable gloves remains recommended in purchasing activities, particularly for the purchase of food and beverages.

In addition, when using public transport, or in workplaces and construction sites, when it is not possible to keep an interpersonal distance of at least one metre and other organisational solutions are not possible, using masks and other protective equipment (including gloves, goggles, overalls, etc.) that comply with the provisions of the scientific and health authorities is strictly necessary.

10. What precautions do I have to take for the correct use of gloves?

The use of gloves, similarly to the use of masks, may help preventing infections only under certain conditions. Otherwise, such protective devices may become a vehicle of infection themselves.

Gloves are ok if:

  • they are not a substitute for proper hand hygiene, which must be carried out through thorough washing, for 60 seconds
  • you change them every time they get dirty, and dispose of them properly, in undifferentiated waste.
  • In the same way as your hands, they do not come into contact with your mouth, nose, and eyes.
  • they are disposed of after use, for example, at the supermarket
  • they are not reused
11. How do I dispose of masks and gloves after use?
At the moment, the survival time of coronavirus in waste is unknown. As a precaution, therefore, masks and gloves should be disposed of with undifferentiated waste, taking care to always place them in a sealed bag first, to avoid contact with sanitation workers.
12. How should masks, gloves and other waste be disposed of, if there are positive or quarantined people in the house?

In households where there are family members who have been tested positive, in isolation or compulsory quarantine, separate waste collection must be discontinued.

Any household waste, regardless of its nature (including tissues, toilet/kitchen rolls, disposable sheets, masks and gloves), must be considered as undifferentiated waste and therefore disposed of in the container used for undifferentiated collection (if possible, with foot pedal), taking care to place the waste inside at least two sealed resistant bags (one inside the other) first, to avoid contact with sanitation workers.

On the other hand, in households where there are no positive subjects in isolation or in compulsory quarantine, it is recommended to continue respecting the waste procedures required by the local territory, without interrupting the separate waste collection.

However, as a precautionary measure, any used tissues, masks, and gloves should be disposed of in the undifferentiated waste.

13. In health care, what personal protective equipment (PPE) should be used and who should use it?

The Istituto Superiore di Sanità (Italian Higher Institute for Health Care) has issued a document concerning the PPE and medical devices recommended for the prevention of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the workplace (health care workers, cleaners, laboratory technicians, patients with/without symptoms, accompanying persons, ambulance workers, etc.) and recipients of the guidelines.

Read the document



1. Are pregnant women more susceptible to infection or at increased risk of developing a severe form of COVID-19?

There are no scientific reports on the susceptibility of pregnant women to the virus. Pregnancy involves changes in the immune system which may increase the risk of viral respiratory infections, including SARS-CoV-2. Pregnant women might also be at higher risk of developing a severe form of viral respiratory infections.

The advice for pregnant women is to take normal preventive actions to reduce the risk of infection, such as washing hands often and avoiding contact with people who are sick.

2. What are the effects of COVID-19 during pregnancy?

There are no scientific reports about the effects of COVID-19 during pregnancy. In cases of infection during pregnancy with other related coronaviruses [SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV], cases of miscarriage have been observed, while high fevers during the first trimester of pregnancy may increase the risk of birth defects.

3. Can pregnant women with COVID-19 pass the virus to their fetus or new-born?

From the limited data in the literature, no cases of transmission of infection by other coronaviruses (MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV) from mother to child have been reported. Recent data on children born to mothers with COVID-19 indicate that none of the infants tested positive. Additionally, SARS-CoV-2 was not detected in the amniotic fluid.

4. Do pregnan t women with COVID - 19 need to have a Caesarean section?

In relation to the current limited knowledge and results of the only study carried out in China, where the presence of SARS - CoV - 2 has not been demonstrated in umbilical cord blood, amniotic fluid and breast milk, there is no elective indication for caesarean sectioning in women with COVID - 19, therefore the current indications for caesarean sectioning remain valid.

Furthermore, considering that caesarean section is an independent risk factor for matern al mortality, it is appropriate to carefully assess this mode of delivery in pregnant women with COVID - 19.

5. Can women who test positive for the new coronavirus have contact with their newborn immediately after birth?

Whenever possible, the preferred option is the joint management of mother and newborn to facilitate the interaction and initiation of breastfeeding.

Should the mother be asymptomatic and feel able to manage her newborn independently, mother and newborn can be managed together. In this case, rooming - in for mother and infant is applicable, applying normal precautions for airborne respiratory diseases. If the mother has a frankly symptomatic respiratory infection (fever, cough and respiratory secretions, myalgia, sore throat, asthenia, dyspnoea ), mother and newborn are temporarily separated.

The decision whether or not to separate mother and newborn should be taken for each individual couple, taking into account the information and consent of parents, the logistical situation of the hospital and possibly also the local epidemiological situation regarding the spread of SARS - CoV - 2.

6. Can women who tested positive for the new coronavirus breastfeed their baby?

If the mother is asymptomatic, she can breastfeed, taking all possible precautions to avoid transmitting the virus to her baby, washing her hands and wearing a surgical mask while breastfeeding.

If breast milk squeezed with manual or electric breast pump is used, the mother should wash her hands and follow the recommendations for proper cle aning of the instruments after each use. If possible, consider using donated human milk.

If the mother has a frankly symptomatic respiratory infection (fever, cough and respiratory secretions, myalgia, sore throat, asthenia, dyspnoea), mother and newborn s hould be transiently separated. In this case, the automatic use of breastmilk substitutes should be avoided, by implementing the pumping of breastmilk or the use of donated human milk. In cases of severe maternal infection, breastmilk pumping may not be ca rried out, according to the general condition of the mother. The compatibility of breastfeeding with drugs that may be administered to the woman with COVID - 19 should be assessed on a case - by - case basis. The use of positive SARS - CoV - 2 mother's pumped breas t milk for the newborn in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit follows specifics protocols.



1. Do children have an increased risk of infection?

Currently, there is no evidence that children are more susceptible to new coronavirus infection. According to a recent study carried out in China, the majority of the confirmed cases of COVID-19 occurred in adults.

However, as with other respiratory diseases, some populations of children may be at greater risk of serious infection, such as children with underlying medical conditions.

Therefore, children too should follow the recommended prevention measures. In particular they should wash their hands frequently with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub and avoid contact with sick people.

2. What can parents do to protect their children from infection?

You may encourage your children to help stop the spread of COVID - 19 by teaching them the rules of hygiene and infection prevention:

  • wash hands often with soap and water or alcohol - based hand sanitizer
  • avoid contact with sick people (fever, cough, sneezing)
  • daily cleaning and disinfecting of frequently used surfaces in common areas of th e house (e.g. tables, chairs with hard backrest, door handles, light switches, remote controls, desks, bathrooms, sinks)
  • washing everyday objects, including washable soft toys, according to the manufacturer's instructions. Use the highest temperature all owed, and dry completely.

CDC source

3. What can parents do to promote physical activity?

During this emergency phase, characterized by extended time to spend at home, it is particularly important to offer children some activities and movement games. Physical exercise, intended as a game of movement, has a priority role for health in the develo pmental age and, in addition to being fun, it helps to improve physical health conditions and promote psychological well - being, functional to achieving a healthy growth. At this time, movement games, more or less structured, to be played together at home, can therefore be very useful to deal with this particular situation with in a more relaxed way: such activities can in fact help children and young people to elaborate emotions and experiences that are sometimes difficult to express, as in playtime childr en have an opportunity to express their emotions, moods and experiences, both pleasant and unpleasant.

To promote physical activity parents may:

  • lead by example. If parents are active, children will be active too 
  • choose activities appropriate to age and development
  • set up safe places to play
  • avoid the use of televisions, tablets and mobile phones for children up to 4 years of age. Limit the use of devices for children and teenagers to certain hours of the day and to a maximum of 2 hours per day, in addition to the time required for the educational activity.

Please refer to the website of the Italian Higher Institute for health, where you will find more information for the different age groups:

Source ISS


Directorate-General for Preventive Healthcare


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