COVID-19 has spread all over Italy and the most affected areas are in the north regions: Lombardia (Milan) Veneto, Emilia Romagna, and Piemonte. Lombardia, the main center of the disease, has been on lock down for months. Schools and universities are closed across the country. Non essential travel is under strict enforcement until well after Easter. The efforts the government has made to stem the tide of COVID-19 cases is starting to work because the daily infection and casualty counts are decreasing.
Screening and quarantines
- People have their body temperature screened at the airport and in many other public places.
- Those who test positive are quarantined. So are those who have contact with the infected person.
Italy’s Smart Working Law
Nearly all conventions or meetings in Italy are cancelled or held virtually. The largest companies either suggest or mandate their employees to work from home since the beginning of the outbreak. See Asinta’s article about Italy’s Smart Working law and how to put it into effect for your Italian employees.
- The Italian federal government’s management of this emergency requires the public health system to pay for all related healthcare expenses.
- The government strongly suggests not using hospital emergencies facilities. People are instructed to dial the number 1500 to ask for assistance.
- Treatment at private hospitals for COVID-19 is unlikely.
- Private health insurers will be able to pay any medical claim for COVID-19 treatment within the limits of the contract.
- Personal accident insurance will not cover COVID-19 related healthcare treatment.
Potential Changes to Accident Coverages
The National Institute of Accidents (INAIL), which governs disability laws, issued a statement declaring that if an employee contracted COVID-19 at their workplace, or on their way to the workplace, it is considered an accident at work. This potentially has many legal implications for employers and the insurance market.
- The employer liability policy could be affected if the responsibility of the employer is established and INAL applies its right of recovery.
- Personal accident policies could also be affected if the COVID-19 illness is eventually defined as accident.
- Legal expenses could be sustained by the employer and its managers in case of legal action for negligence in maintaining COVID-19 protections at work.
- D&O policies could be triggered in the case of employer negligence in maintaining COVID-19 protections at work.