The numbers that show a year of Covid-19 in Italy

It has now been one year since parts of northern Italy declared their first coronavirus lockdowns, and the entire country has been living with the virus ever since. We look back on 12 months of the Covid-19 pandemic in Italy, in numbers.

The numbers that show a year of Covid-19 in Italy
Italy has now been living with the coronavirus for over a year. Photo: Andrea Pattaro/AFP

Health data

2.8 million: the number of cases of Covid-19 confirmed in Italy since the pandemic began. 

96,000: Italy's total Covid-19 death toll to date. 

993: the highest number of deaths in Italy in a single day, recorded on December 3rd 2020. Before then the record was 921 on March 27th.

40,896: the most new cases recorded in Italy in one day, on November 13th 2020. During the first wave, the high was 6,554 on March 21st. 

Daily new cases regularly top 10,000 now, though that is partly due to far more widespread testing.

READ ALSO: Eight things the year-long Covid crisis has taught us about Italy

Photo: AFP

4,068: the most Covid-19 patients in intensive care at any one time, on April 3rd 2020. The highest number of ICU patients during the second wave was 3,848 on November 25th.

581,000: the total number of cases reported in Lombardy, the region with the most infections, which has seen more than 28,000 deaths. 

81: the mean age of people who have died from Covid-19 in Italy. There were more than 35,500 victims in the hardest hit age group of 80-89 year olds, according to the Higher Health Institute (ISS).

2.3 million: the number of people who have recovered from Covid-19 in Italy. 

19 million: the rough number of people who have been tested for coronavirus in Italy to date. 
0.99: the average Rt (reproduction) number across Italy, according to the latest official report. Ten areas of Italy currently have an Rt number above 1, which indicates that new cases will spread rapidly.

40-50 percent: the proportion of new cases in Italy that could involve one of the variants of the Sars-Cov-2 virus detected around the world in the past two months, according to experts. 

“In regions where the variant is found to account for at least 50 percent of cases, the more contagious variant will almost completely replace the 'standard' version within a month and a half from today,” Dr Rosario Corrado Spinella of Italy's National Research Council (CNR) warned this week


2: the number of governments Italy has had since the Covid emergency began, with zero elections. While Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte steered the country through its first lockdown and saw his approval ratings soar, his coalition government collapsed when it came to planning Italy's recovery.

He was replaced last week by former chief banker Mario Draghi, who now leads a “unity” government made up of the biggest parties from left and right plus technocrats.

READ ALSO: How will Italy's Covid-19 strategy change under the new government?

21: the number of rounds of applause Prime Minister Draghi got during his first speech in parliament. The longest came when he said: “Today unity is not an option but a duty. But it is a duty guided by what I am sure unites us all: love for Italy.”

Photo: Andrew Medichini/Pool/AFP


8.9 percent: the amount by which Italy's GDP shrank last year, according to figures from the national statistics office. That makes Italy one of the worst-hit economies in the European Union.

420,000: the number of jobs lost in Italy between February and December 2020. Working women have borne the brunt, with 99,000 women losing their jobs in December alone compared to 2,000 men.

Economists say women in Italy have been disproportionately hit as they more often have insecure positions in service industries, such as tourism or catering, which have been particularly badly affected by the pandemic.

€2.8 billion: the amount that US tourists alone would usually contribute to the Italian economy in a year, most of which was lost in 2020 due to restrictions on travel from outside the EU. 

In total, international tourism in Italy is typically worth an estimated €42 billion.

€209 billion: the sum of EU emergency funds that Italy hopes to claim, with the government due to submit a spending plan to Brussels by the end of April. Draghi has indicated that his priorities are reforms to the tax and justice systems, as well as cutting bureaucratic red tape and getting pupils safely back to school.

Rules and restrictions

2: the number of Covid-19 deaths reported in Italy by the time the first local lockdowns were declared on February 22nd 2020, in ten towns in Lombardy and one in Veneto.

The first locally transmitted cases had been detected days earlier and in the days that followed, the count rapidly surged from a handful of patients to hundreds. Swathes of northern Italy would then be locked down, followed soon afterwards by the entire country.

READ ALSO: Codogno one year on: How is the first Italian town hit by coronavirus faring?

55: the number of days Italy spent in full nationwide lockdown between March 10th and May 3rd 2020. 

The rules were progressively relaxed over the spring and summer, only to start being tightened again in autumn. The government declared a further ten days of national lockdown over the Christmas, New Year and Epiphany holidays.

94 percent: how much visits to restaurants, bars, cafes and other leisure places decreased in the early weeks of the first lockdown, according to an April 2020 report by Google using data collected via its Maps app. Trips to food shops and pharmacies were down 85 percent, while visits to parks and beaches fell by 90 percent.

7.8 million: the number of people stopped by police in April 2020, when checks were at their highest. Around 256,000 people were fined that month for breaking strict lockdown rules.

For comparison, in January 2021 some 2.8 million people were checked and just under 35,000 fined, according to Interior Ministry figures.

6pm: the time at which people gathered to sing together from their windows, balconies and rooftops during the early days of lockdown.

Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP

3: the number of 'zones' in Italy now, where restrictions get tighter depending on whether each region is classed yellow, orange or red. There is technically a fourth zone, white, but no region has yet seen its infection numbers fall low enough to be declared one.

MAP: Which zone is your region in under Italy's tier system?

21: the number of factors that health authorities take into account when deciding which regions should be classed as high-risk, including Rt number, number of patients in hospital and test positivity rate. The data is reassessed weekly.

10pm: the time by when you should be home for the night under Italy's nationwide curfew. You're allowed out again from 5am. 

3: the number of legitimate reasons for leaving your region of Italy while a domestic travel ban remains in force, according to the latest version of the 'autodichiarazione' (self-certification) form you're supposed to fill in if you need to make an urgent trip. They are listed as: work; health reasons; other essential reasons.

The ban will continue until at least March 27th, the government announced this week.

€400-1,000: the sum you could be fined if you are caught breaking Italy's coronavirus rules, for example by disobeying curfew, travelling between regions without an essential reason, failing to self-isolate after returning from overseas, or not wearing a face mask in public.

1500: the toll-free number you can call in Italy for any questions related to the pandemic. The helpline, run by the Health Ministry, operates 24 hours a day.


3.6 million: the number of doses of Covid-19 vaccines that have been administered in Italy so far, immunizing some 1.3 million people.

READ ALSO: Where to register for a Covid-19 vaccine in your region of Italy

Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP

€0: the cost of getting a Covid-19 vaccine in Italy, which the Health Ministry has said should be free for all.

6: the number of categories into which Italy has divided its population to determine who gets vaccinated first. Older and medically vulnerable people are the top priority, while young, healthy adults not working in key sectors are the last in line.

Member comments

  1. Italy as the first country outside China to be hit so hard with COVID-19, did an amazing job under so much pressure. We were in Australia and were due to holiday there in April and May last year, so were looking very closely with how everything unfolded. It was so sad to watch and looked impossible to get on top of.

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Italy reports first case of monkeypox

Italy on Thursday reported its first case of monkeypox, joining a number of other European and North American nations in detecting the disease endemic in parts of Africa.

Italy reports first case of monkeypox

Monkeypox was identified in a young adult who had recently returned from the Canary Islands, Rome’s Spallanzani Institute for infectious diseases said.

He is being treated in isolation and is in a reasonable condition, it said in a statement carried by Italian news agencies, adding that two other suspected cases were being investigated.

Alessio D’Amato, health commissioner for the Lazio region that includes Rome, confirmed on social media that it was the country’s first case, adding that the situation was being “constantly monitored”.

Cases of monkeypox have also been detected in Spain and Portugal – where more than 40 possible and verified cases have been reported – as well as Britain, Sweden, the United States and Canada.

The illness has infected thousands of people in parts of Central and Western Africa in recent years, but is rare in Europe and North Africa.

Its symptoms are similar but somewhat milder than smallpox’s: fever, headache, muscle aches, back pain, chills, exhaustion, although it also causes the lymph nodes to swell up.

Within one to three days, the patient develops a rash, often beginning on the face then spreading to other parts of the body. Although most monkeypox cases aren’t serious, studies have shown that one in ten people who contract the disease in Africa die from it.

The World Health Organization on Tuesday said it was coordinating with UK and European health officials over the new outbreaks.