Italy’s bars and restaurants reopen for indoor service on Tuesday

Bars and restaurants can serve customers indoors once again as Italy continues to ease its coronavirus restrictions.

Italy's bars and restaurants reopen for indoor service on Tuesday
Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP

From Tuesday June 1st, bars and restaurants across Italy can once again serve customers indoors, as well as outdoors – meaning restaurants which don’t have outside seating can now reopen.

And at bars, customers will once again be allowed to drink their coffee at the counter.

READ ALSO: What changes about life in Italy in June 2021?

The rules requiring bar and restaurant customers to wear masks when not sitting down, or eating or drinking, remain in place.

Drinking your coffee al bancone has has been forbidden since March, as serving all food and drink indoors was prohibited.

The ban sparked protests from Italy’s bar owners, who said the tradition of drinking coffee quickly while standing at the counter was the “lifeblood” of tens of thousands of small businesses.


Outdoor table service at bars and restaurants was allowed to resume in lower-risk ‘yellow’ zones from the end of April onwards as the country began gradually easing coronavirus restrictions.

Italy’s last remaining rules are set to be lifted over the next month – and almost all measures have already been dropped in the three regions declared low-risk ‘white’ zones from Monday May 31st.

Sports stadiums can also reopen to the public from Tuesday, at 25 percent of their maximum capacity.

From Monday June 7th, the evening curfew will be pushed back from 11pm to midnight throughout Italy – excluding the ‘white zone’ regions, where no curfew is required.

MAP: Which parts of Italy will become Covid-19 ‘white zones’ in June?

So far, only mask-wearing and social distancing rules must remain in place in white zones, the health minister has said.

The final set of rules in each region depends on the local authority, as each is free to impose stricter restrictions than those set by the national government.

Most, if not all, Italian regions are expected to be downgraded from ‘yellow zone’ risk status to ‘white’ this month, as the health data continues to improve across the country.

Member comments

  1. In bocca al lupo. What a sacrifice Italians have made to get to this point where restaurants and bars can open and people can drink an espresso at the bar. All my fingers and toes are crossed for a successful “riapertura”.

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Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

The mandatory EU-wide mask requirement for air travel is set to be dropped from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still require passengers to wear masks on some or all flights

Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

Europe-wide facemask rules on flights are set to be ditched as early as next week in light of new recommendations from health and air safety experts.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) dropped recommendations for mandatory mask-wearing in airports and during flights in updated Covid-19 safety measures for travel issued on Wednesday, May 11th.

The new rules are expected to be rolled out from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still continue to require the wearing of masks on some or all of flights. And the updated health safety measures still say that wearing a face mask remains one of the best ways to protect against the transmission of the virus.

The joint EASA/ECDC statement reminded travellers that masks may still be required on flights to destinations in certain countries that still require the wearing of masks on public transport and in transport hubs.

It also recommends that vulnerable passengers should continue to wear a face mask regardless of the rules, ideally an FFP2/N95/KN95 type mask which offers a higher level of protection than a standard surgical mask.

“From next week, face masks will no longer need to be mandatory in air travel in all cases, broadly aligning with the changing requirements of national authorities across Europe for public transport,” EASA executive director Patrick Ky said in the statement. 

“For passengers and air crews, this is a big step forward in the normalisation of air travel. Passengers should however behave responsibly and respect the choices of others around them. And a passenger who is coughing and sneezing should strongly consider wearing a face mask, for the reassurance of those seated nearby.”  

ECDC director Andrea Ammon added: “The development and continuous updates to the Aviation Health Safety Protocol in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic have given travellers and aviation personnel better knowledge of the risks of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and its variants. 

“While risks do remain, we have seen that non-pharmaceutical interventions and vaccines have allowed our lives to begin to return to normal. 

“While mandatory mask-wearing in all situations is no longer recommended, it is important to be mindful that together with physical distancing and good hand hygiene it is one of the best methods of reducing transmission. 

“The rules and requirements of departure and destination states should be respected and applied consistently, and travel operators should take care to inform passengers of any required measures in a timely manner.”