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Sicily and Covid

My wife and I have made plans for northern Sicily (our second trip, we love Sicily) for Oct 16-Nov 1. Hiking the Aeolian Islands is our focus. Yesterday we read A CNN news report on covid infection rate. The report states: "Italian regions are currently graded by their infection and hospitalization rates, running from white (lowest risk) through yellow and amber to red (highest risk). As of August 26, all regions are white zones apart from Sicily, which turned yellow on August 31."

I guess we could change our plans, and travel Puglia/Campania instead of Sicily, but it will be a disappointment. Is anyone in Sicily now? We would appreciate advice on Sicily and covid safety, if so. Grazie!

Posted by
12279 posts

Yellow zone has few restrictions. Basically the capacity of indoor venues (like theaters) is reduced and in restaurants tables are distanced and no more than 4 persons are allowed at a table, unless part of same household. Wearing a mask becomes mandatory outdoors as well.
Everything else is the same as a white zone.

Posted by
1941 posts

My cousin lives in Sicily. A week or 10 days ago she told me that their Covid cases have increased with tourism. That's not to say she blamed the tourists; except perhaps insofar as tourism creates more interactions. That's my interpretation of what she was saying, anyway. She was firing off some pretty angry and rapid Italian, so I may have missed some nuances. Her family's income relies on tourism so I'm sure they are feeling the economic effects of the loss of tourism and have mixed emotions about its return.

She said they were returning to stricter measures. School begins in mid September in her region in the east so she anticipates cases might rise further.

Posted by
5285 posts

We are in Sicily now, have been for a couple weeks, in about 5 different locations.

I guess the first question is what is your concern? Are you concerned restrictions may impact your trip? Or are you more concerned about the covid risk to you?

As for restrictions, a year ago, "Yellow" carried several more restrictions that would impact you as a traveler; however, most of those (like limited hours for restaurants, reduced capacity in reastaurants, etc.) have been stripped out, and the main one for most travelers is the wearing a mask outdoors. However, enforcement from a strict perspective is not done. We will not wear a mask if we are separated from others, but opt to put it on if we encounter a crowded street, a market, or other place that has a density of people. We are often though in the minority with masks on, and Police are not being strict on enforcement. Indoors is different, nearly everyone complies, or at least in dealings with the public.

If your concern is about danger to your health, then consider a couple factors. Italy's overall covid rate is going down, they appear to be declining from the recent peak. Further, the cases per 100,000 are running about 4000 to 6000, there are only two States in the US (Hawaii and Vermont) that have lower rates, and likely the State you live in is easily double that of Italy and Sicily.

Given better enforcement of Covid measures (Indoor masks, masks on public transport, etc.) and the lower rate, you are likely safer in Sicily than where you are, and by your trip, it is very likely Sicily will no longer be Yellow.

We have benefited however from being able to eat nearly every meal outdoors, at the time of your trip, weather may not allow that, but possibly, that may add a factor we are not facing.

Posted by
20 posts

Many thanks to the above three informative reports. I'd say our concerns are multi-fold: everything from personal risk of getting infected, to infecting others (although we are both vaccinated and awaiting booster shots and wear masks), to not being able to enjoy the same dimension of interaction with people as we have in times before the pandemic. The "new normal" with its spate of daily change and unpredictability is even harder to bear in America, given the divisiveness in this country, and the inability of citizens as a whole to come to terms with a health mandate for the good of the entire community, and to follow it. Our northern New Mexico county on Sept 22 reports an average of 29 cases per day per 100,000 people (and this is trending upward); while Italy is trending downward, averaging (presently) less than 7 cases per day per 100,000 people. Statistically, we are safer in a country with that average (Italy), whose population seems much more unified in following health rules for the good of all. I suppose our personal rule is to be careful, compassionate, intrepid travelers despite the times.

Posted by
15 posts

3 of us just got back last week from Sicily (we were there for 8 days) and had no problems. Everyone masked indoors and at all sites, they required showing of CDC card along with some places asking for passports to prove you are the person. Outdoors, a lot of people did not mask but we did and used KN95 certified masks. We came home without getting sick or testing positive for our trip home. I tested again 5 days later and all was well.