|COVID-19 pandemic in Italy|
|First outbreak||Wuhan, Hubei, China|
|Arrival date||31 January 2020|
(2 years, 5 months and 3 days)
|Hospitalized cases||21,498 (active)|
|Critical cases||1,645 (active)|
|Recovered||6,314,444 (total, incl. discharged)|
The virus was first confirmed to have spread to Italy on 31 January 2020, when two Chinese tourists in Rome tested positive for the virus. One week later an Italian man repatriated to Italy from the city of Wuhan, China, was hospitalized and confirmed as the third case in Italy. Clusters of cases were later detected in Lombardy and Veneto on 21 February, with the first deaths on 22 February. By the beginning of March, the virus had spread to all regions of Italy.
On 31 January, the Italian government suspended all flights to and from China and declared a state of emergency. In February, eleven municipalities in northern Italy were identified as the centres of the two main Italian clusters and placed under quarantine. The majority of positive cases in other regions traced back to these two clusters. On 8 March 2020, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte expanded the quarantine to all of Lombardy and 14 other northern provinces, and on the following day to all of Italy, placing more than 60 million people in lockdown. On 11 March 2020, Conte prohibited nearly all commercial activity except for supermarkets and pharmacies. On 21 March, the Italian government closed all non-essential businesses and industries, and restricted movement of people. In May, many restrictions were gradually eased, and on 3 June, freedom of movement across regions and other European countries was restored. In October, Italy was hit by the second wave of the pandemic, which brought the government to introduce further restrictions on movement and social life, which were gradually eased in mid-2021.
By 18 January, Italy had tested about 48 million people. Due to the limited number of tests performed, the real number of infected people in Italy, as in other countries, is estimated to be higher than the official count. In May 2020, the Italian National Institute of Statistics (Istat) estimated 11,000 more deaths for COVID-19 in Italy than the confirmed ones. This estimation was later confirmed in October 2020 by a second Istat report. In March 2021, Istat published a new report in which it detected an excess mortality of 100,526 deaths in 2020, compared to the average of the previous five years. Moreover, 2020 became the year with the highest number of deaths since 1945, when Italy was fighting in World War II on its soil.
During the peak of the pandemic, Italy's number of active cases was one of the highest in the world. As of 27 January 2022[update], Italy has 2,706,453 active cases. Overall, there have been 18,610,011 confirmed cases and 168,425 deaths (a rate of 2,789.996 deaths per million population), while there have been 7,687,989 recoveries or dismissals.
On 31 December 2019, the Health Commission of Wuhan, Hubei, China, informed the WHO about a cluster of acute pneumonia cases with unknown origin in its province. On 9 January 2020, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CCDC) reported the identification of a novel coronavirus (later identified as the SARS-CoV-2) as the cause. In late January 2020, following the developments of COVID-19 outbreak in mainland China, on 3 February, Italy set up enhanced screening measures, including thermal cameras and medical staff at airports.