The latest DPCM (Decreto del presidente del consiglio, or 'prime minister's decree') announced in Italy on October 25 was highly anticipated. As many feared, the new measures - which come into force from 26 October - affect restaurateurs, as well as the world of entertainment (cinemas and theatres will close again, as will gyms).
"The activities of catering services (including bars, pubs, restaurants, ice cream parlours, pastry shops) are permitted from 5am to 6pm; table consumption is allowed for up to four people per table, unless they are all cohabitants; after 6pm the consumption of food and drink in public places and places open to the public is prohibited; catering in hotels and other accommodation facilities is limited to its customers and remains allowed without time limits for guests staying there; home delivery is allowed, in compliance with hygiene and sanitary regulations, both for packaging and transport activities, as is catering with takeaway, until midnight, with the prohibition of consumption on site or in the vicinity," reads the decree.
Different rules apply only in the South Tyrol region, where Arno Kompatscher, the president of the autonomous province of Bolzano-Alto Adige, has signed an ordinance establishing different rules, with the closure of bars at 8pm and restaurants at 10pm. A manoeuvre made possible by the autonomy enjoyed by the province, which has also decided to leave its' cinemas and theatres open (with a maximum permissible capacity of 200 people). Will anyone else follow his example?
The reaction from restaurateurs and traders across the industry has been severe. After a very difficult spring, the resumption of activities - which had given some hope of a general improvement of the situation - has once again been blocked.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has promised assistance for the sectors affected by the DPCM of 25 October, however, there has been no lack of criticism from chefs and trade associations.