Families reunite in Italy after lockdown restriction eased

FOR two months under Covid-19 lockdown, Italians were unable to visit any relatives who did not live in the same house as them. Italians have particularly strong family ties and the separation has been tough.

Some of the most poignant stories come from separated parents, one of whom had not been able to see their child for two months. Emiliano Pozzan lives just 10km away from his 12-year-old son but wasn’t able to see him for eight weeks because he lives in a different municipality. “I called him every night,” Pozzan said, “it was strange but we managed to laugh and argue every time as normal.” Pozzan saw his son on Monday for the first time as lockdown eased.

Across Italy, families have been having emotional reunions, like one girl who got to hug her grandfather for the first time in two months.

However, the new rules haven’t been without controversy. The announcement that visits to relatives were permitted fired a debate in newspapers and on Twitter about who exactly is a ‘relative.’ It was unclear whether boyfriends and girlfriends, for example, were included.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte eventually clarified that relatives to the sixth degree, for example your cousins’ children, were permissible as well as people with whom you have ‘stable affections.’ To the disappointment of many, this did not include friends.

Pozzan is dismissive of the rules saying, “we don’t need to visit relatives to the sixth degree, but I should have been able to see my son during lockdown.”

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Written by

Rebecca Ann Hughes

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