Italy, the forbidden zone. Driver, read this before you go there

18 March 2020

The Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte issued a decree on Tuesday which put the whole country under quarantine. In addition, Italians have introduced numerous controls and restrictions on border crossings. Unfortunately, drivers still have to do their job. For this reason, we have prepared a short guide for truck drivers who are going to Italy with their cargo.

However, to start with, it is worth noting that the current steps of the European authorities are not dictated by the tragic situation, so there is no reason to panic. Prevention is better than cure – that’s why governments decide on certain preventive measures to avoid a pandemic. The same is true in Italy, where there is a certain risk of coronavirus infection, but with caution, the danger can be avoided. We encourage you to read this guide.

The route to Italy – what documents must the driver have?

Drivers who are going to Italy should, according to the information of the Ministry of the Interior, have with them a statement containing, among other things, information about the route or the employer’s certificate about the work they do. You can have your own certificate, or you can use the model.

>>> Model declaration for drivers going to Italy

What should I take with me to Italy?

The spokesperson of the Chief Sanitary Inspectorate during his speech indicated 3 things that can help professional drivers to minimize the risk of illness.

Hygienic masks

How to put on a hygienic mask:

– Before putting the mask, wash your hands with an alcohol-based preparation or soapy water.

– Put on the mask so that your mouth and nose are covered with the mask.

– Make sure there are no gaps between your face and the mask.

Remember that:

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Avoid touching the mask when using it. If you still touch it, wash your hands with an alcoholic hand cleaner or soapy water.

The mask is designed for single use. After each use, remove the mask (behind the temples), dispose of it properly and wash hands.

It is also important to treat it as a protective measure in a high-risk area and when you see someone coughing.

They are not intended to be used all the time, but only for a few hours.

To remove the mask, move it backwards (without touching the front), throw it in a closed dustbin or burn it and then clean your hands with an alcohol-based agent or soapy water.


The disinfectant should contain alcohol with a concentration of 70 %. If its concentration is lower, it will not have disinfectant properties. If the concentration is too high, it may have the opposite effect and protect the virus.

Disinfection is recommended for those parts of the vehicle that are touched by other people. If the truck is driven and touched by one person, this is not necessary.

Since it can be complicated to purchase disinfectant nowadays, you can use a self-made disinfectant. However, you should pay attention to the appropriate composition. For example, it can be made with 80 ml ethanol, a spirit that contains 96% ethanol and 20 ml water, preferably distilled.

Paper towels

Since reusable towels or electric dryers in bathrooms are used by many people, they are not safe. It is therefore recommended to use disposable paper towels to dry hands.

Recommendations for loading and unloading

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The Italian Ministry of Transport has not yet issued detailed guidelines on the unloading and loading of goods. However, the association of Lombardy industrialists Assolombarda has given recommendations on how to handle the goods:

– Drivers should not leave the vehicle and should be equipped with medical protection and prevention measures such as masks, disposable gloves etc;

– if loading/unloading requires leaving the vehicle, a safe distance of at least 1 metre should be maintained from other persons;

– transport documentation should be transmitted electronically.

Penalties for non-compliance with quarantine in Italy

The Ministry of the Interior has announced checks on compliance with quarantine rules in places such as airports, main and local roads, motorways, toll booths, etc.

Failure to comply with the guidelines will result in a fine of 206 euros and a prison sentence of up to 3 months.

Health checks at the borders with Italy

Drivers travelling through Italy or near the border with Austria should be prepared for a thorough health check. These are carried out by special mobile teams, which measure the temperature and carry out a health interview.

Currently, the sanitary unit can order the driver to come to the check in two cases:

– if the driver himself has previously reported to the sanitary and epidemiological station,

– if the driver may have had contact with an infected or suspected person.

In these situations, the driver may be called upon to attend the necessary examinations without delay.

Refusal to go to Italy – what can the driver do?

According to the interpretation of the District Labour Inspectorate in Wrocław, an employee may refuse to go to areas under special epidemiological surveillance, otherwise called “red zones”. The Labour Law Code allows an employee to refuse to perform work if its conditions violate health and safety regulations and may constitute a direct threat to the employee’s life.

The refusal to perform work is treated as an excused paid absence only if the employer cannot provide the driver with the possibility to perform work (including another position) in appropriate conditions, not threatening his life and health.

Do you want to have up-to-date information about truck bans, roadblocks and other difficulties on the roads in Italy? Download >>> the free application Bans For Trucks.