Coronavirus second phase in Italy: 7 out of 10 Italians don’t know what to do

Leonardo Saulle - May 6, 2020
coronavirus desk research lockdown politics sentiment analysis sondaggio

Coronavirus second phase in Italy: 7 out of 10 Italians don’t know what to do

Second phase - PXR Italy

What about Coronavirus "second phase" in Italy? We asked "Are you clear on what can be done in phase 2 according to what the government says?" to Italians. The result is that more than 7 out of 10 Italians (73.5%) are not clear about what can be done in phase 2; we are talking about workers, students and pensioners who, in the absence of clear information and directives, do not know how to behave in order to comply with the new rules.

But before drawing hasty conclusions or making judgments, let us ask ourselves some important questions:

  1. What does phase 2 currently consist of?
  2. What is allowed to be done in phase 2, explained clearly and simply?
  3. If the Italians do not play by the rules, what will be the consequences?

What does phase 2 currently consist of?

'Phase 2' is the set of measures and provisions needed to deal with the coronavirus emergency and aimed at a gradual recovery in the various sectors of social, economic and production activities. It is the result of in-depth work carried out by a committee of experts in economic and social matters, including eight university professors (full professors at prestigious universities such as 'La Sapienza' in Rome, University of California, Harvard Business School, etc.) (data from the Presidency of the Council of Ministers).

The above measures and provisions are provided for and decreed by the DPCM of 26 April, signed by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte. It will take effect from 4 May to 17 of the same month. 

In principle, the basic directives of phase 2 cover a few simple topics. The rules of entry and movement on Italian territory and the working and social life of Italians; the categories of work that can be resumed and the prevention and protection measures to be taken to avoid contagion from the coronavirus are listed (Clicklavoro data).

What is allowed in phase 2, explained clearly and simply?

The government website, following the publication of the text of the dpcm of 26 April, has developed and published a page containing all the indications and measures of phase 2, explained in a simple and detailed way for Italians: here it is.

Congiunti escono da quarantena dopo fase 2
More than 7 out of 10 people (73.5%) are unclear about what can be done in phase 2.

If Italians do not play by the rules, what will be the consequences? Coronavirus in Italy

Let us immediately distinguish between the consequences at individual and national (or Italian) level.

Those who transgress the measures set out in the decree of 26 April face various types of sanctions: fines from 400 to 4.000 euro, closure of the business (or entrepreneurial activity) for 5 to 30 days, criminal sanctions including imprisonment for 3 to 18 months and payment of a fine of 500 to 5.000 euro and, finally, in the event of false statements made to police officers during control activities, imprisonment for 1 to 6 years (data from Anci Lombardia). On the first day of phase 2 (4 May), 258.170 people and 100.816 activities and businesses were checked. 3.691 people were sanctioned, 98 people were reported for false declarations or attestations, 11 people were reported for violating the ban on removal for quarantine reasons (source: Ministero dell'Interno).

As far as the consequences of the Italians' behaviour on a national scale are concerned, there are neither certain nor indicative data at present. Some doctors suggest that the next two weeks will be crucial to understand if Italy is out of the emergency situation (Cremona1 interview data).


A study conducted by Imperial College London warns Italians: 'if 20% of citizens were to return to the same mobility and behaviour as before the lockdown, there could be between 3.000 and 5.000 more deaths (than the current number); if instead 40% were to do so, the new victims could be up to 23.000 more (than the current number). All this within eight weeks'. And while Health Minister Roberto Speranza admits that people "are showing they have understood the risk and are showing responsibility" (source: interview with 'Di Martedì' on La7), Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte appeals precisely to Italians' sense of responsibility towards the emergency situation (source: Corriere della Sera).

To conclude, PXR Italy greets you with the words of Oriana Fallaci: 'You don't do your duty because someone says thank you… you do it out of principle, for yourself, for your dignity'.

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