We have created a post to answer some of the most pressing questions regarding traveling to or planning to visit Florence & Tuscany, please read it here: https://www.discovertuscany.com/blog/coronavirus-in-florence-tuscany-update-5014/
Yesterday, we shared on Facebook a screenshot of a letter Florence city mayor Dario Nardella sent to the US universities with study abroad programs in Florence. It was an attempt to reassure that Florence is prepared to treat the illness, when it will arrive in greater numbers, in Florence. I’ll include the screenshot below, as well as transcribe it since it since the lettering is quite small.
The president of the region of Tuscany has issued a mandate to reassure anyone that finds themselves in Tuscany – whether for study, work or travel as tourists – will receive the same treatment to treat the illness should they become sick while here. Yet, also the latest news is that the national government is pondering following China’s example and implementing a larger policy of containment by closing down all schools and universities in the country. While the schools are not hot spots, it does move people around every single day and bring lots of people in touch.
While many have expressed the opinion that this move is excessive, it is also true that if we, as citizens of Italy and the world, want to be reassured that there is no risk of getting sick as we move around in a month or two or further down this year, then it is better to take more drastic measures now while the cases are still limited here in Italy. Actually, other similar measures that limit contact between large numbers of people likely make sense in other countries. If we wait for the number to double, triple or more, then the stress on our health and economic system will be greater and we will all suffer even worse from it.
UPDATE 7pm 03/04/20: this move has been confirmed – schools and universities will be closed from March 5-15 across all of Italy.
With 3 small children at home now, it means I have to find a new work schedule and balance between keeping them busy and active while I get to read the news and update articles on the website, send off our newsletter and answer questions on our forum. This is uncharted territory for us, and hope you, wherever you are, will also be able to stay safe and healthy.
UPDATE 10.30PM 03/09/20: the entire country of Italy is on lock-down, with everyone being told to stay at home unless required for work or other necessary purpose. We will have to see what this really means for all of us.
following the current evolution of the new Covid-19 disease, we hereby would like to inform you about the situation in Florence.
In Italy, infections have been mainly reported in the north of the country, in particular Lombardy and Veneto. Following the first outbreaks, national and local governments have taken rapid measures in order to prevent the spread of the infection, according to the World Health Organization provisions. Since few days those measures have been demonstrating positive effects against infection risks.
Florence and Tuscany in general, have only marginally been affected and just a few infections have been reported and treated according to provisions.
At this time, the 3 infected people are caught in the quarantine, avoiding any further spread of virus.
Florence and Tuscany, in accordance with the National Government, are not areas of epidemic emergency and therefore stronger measures have not been considered. Schools, universities, public offices, museums, cinemas and theatres are regularly managing their everyday activities. Furthermore also conomic activieis and young economic centres are working as usual.The City of Florence continues to follow the situation, in coordination with the Itlaian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. See the link: https://www.esteri.it/mae/sala_stampa/archivionotizie/approfondimenti/farnesina-al-lavoro-per-una-corretta-informazione-all-estero.htmlWe are also in close contact with the American Consulate general in Florence, and these are the guidelines issued by the US State Department: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Italy.html
Therefore, at this moment there are no risks in living and staying in Italy and in particular in Florence and Tuscany. We strongly believe that it is important to adequately communicate the current situation, in order not to spread among people unmotivated alarm, which may harm social, cultural and economic fabric of our city.
Florence, February 28th, 2020