The new decree imposes measures in effect from today until April 3, 2020 to combat the spread of COVID-19.

By Giancarlo D’Ambrosio and Giovanni B. Sandicchi

Yesterday evening, the Italian government adopted a new decree (D.P.C.M. of March 22, 2020), which suspends, as of today, non-essential industrial and commercial production activities throughout the country to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Among the provisions of the Decree, the following are particularly noteworthy:

i. All industrial and commercial production activities are suspended, with the exception of those providing public utilities and essential services, as well as a series of activities considered essential and contained in a list reported under Annex 1 of the Decree, which may be supplemented by subsequent decrees. The list includes, among other activities, the entire beverage and food supply chain, the pharmaceutical healthcare devices industry, strategic industries, and related production chains. In addition, the functional activities to ensure the continuity of the authorized supply chains will also remain open, subject to notification to the Prefect of the province where the production unit is located.

ii. Functional activities to deal with the emergency are permitted, including those relating to the production, transport, marketing, and delivery of medicines, health technology, and medical-surgical devices, as well as agricultural and food products.

iii. Continuous production cycle plants whose interruption causes serious damage to the plant itself or poses a risk of accidents are permitted, upon notification to the Prefect of the province where the production activities are located.

iv. The activities of the aerospace and defence industry, as well as other activities of strategic importance for the national economy, are allowed upon authorization of the Prefect of the province where the production activities are located.

v. Companies whose activities are suspended as a result of the Decree will complete the necessary activities for the suspension by Wednesday, March 25, 2020, including the shipment of goods in stock.

vi. The suspended production activities can, in any case, be continued if organized by remote or smart working. Moreover, all the companies whose activities are not suspended are required to comply with the shared protocols between the Italian government and the social partners for combatting and containing the spread of COVID-19.

The measures of the Decree will take effect from today until April 3, 2020.

Latham & Watkins will publish insights on the effects of these extraordinary measures, as part of the analysis and support activities drafted at a global level to help clients to face the COVID-19 emergency.

Please visit Latham’s COVID-19 Resources for additional resources to respond to COVID-19-related business and legal issues.