ROME — Scientific advisers to the Italian government have modified Italy’s coronavirus quarantine rules, reducing to 10 days the 14-day minimum quarantine for people who test positive or have come into contact with someone who tested positive.
The shift, which follows reductions taken by other European countries, was an acknowledgement of the impracticability of asking tens of thousands of people to remain isolated for two weeks as a precaution, even as infections are rising sharply. In addition, in a bid to reduce pressure on Italy’s overwhelmed laboratories, the advisers also decided that only one negative test is required to get out of quarantine, rather than two.
The scientific committee issued revised guidelines late Sunday as Italy is seeing a surge in new infections, averaging more than 5,000 a day. While still far fewer than the daily increases in Spain, France or Britain, Italy’s surge is prompting the government to consider new restrictions.
According to Italian news reports, they could include nighttime curfews for bars, restrictions on drinking outside bar venues and limitations on the size of parties and other social gatherings. Public health authorities say three quarters of Italy’s current active clusters were spread within families.