48.6 Overall Score (down 17 since Aug 1st.)


  • 39.4 Public Health
  • 0 Financial
  • 100 Fact-Based
  • 39.4 Public Health
  • 0 Financial
  • 100 Fact-Based

While hit hard by COVID-19, Italy’s reliance on facts and improved contact tracing has helped slow the spread and slightly improved its overall score since January.

Pre-COVID Conditions

Despite a relatively strong overall healthcare system, Italy’s low number of hospital beds likely played a major role in COVID-19’s devastating impact there.

  • Debt/GDP ratio 135.5%
  • GDP/capita $41,582
  • Gini coefficient (out of 100) 35.9
  • Infant mortality rate (out of 1,000 live births) 3
  • Healthcare access score (out of 100) 88.7
  • Hospital beds/1,000 People 24.1

Government Response

Select a data point for more information
(Data points represent policy level as of Mar 15.)

Public Health Directives

Italy’s health score is relatively weak, with improvements to contact tracing being one of the only areas of improvment.

  • Stay at home order 2
  • Public gathering restrictions 4
  • School closings 3
  • Public event cancellations 2
  • Testing policy 2
  • Emergency healthcare investments/capita $122.23
  • Travel restrictions 3
  • Tests/1,000 people 741
  • Contact tracing 2

Financial Response

Italy has a very weak score on financial support, driven largely by its low level of income support for workers, which it also implemented fairly late in the crisis.

  • Financial stimulus as share of GDP 15%
  • Income support 1
  • Debt forebearance 2

Fact-Based Communication

Italy’s government has not engaged in misinformation or limited press freedom in response to COVID-19.

  • Reliance on science/fact based information 0
  • Press freedom 0

COVID-19 Status as of Mar 15

Italy’s current status with regard to COVID-19 is at the median, although relatively strong restrictions have helped to lower case and death rates since January.

  • Total deaths 22,432
  • Death rate per 100K 371
  • Total cases 3,238,394
  • Cases per 100K 342
  • Percent of positive tests 6.9
  • Change in positivity rates -5
Case Trend Line
Daily cases Level 1 Lockdown Level 2 Lockdown Level 3 Lockdown
Date Status New Cases/1M
1 May 18 Retail, restaurants, and hairdressers reopen 7.46
2 May 25 Sports facilities reopen 4.96
3 Jun 15 cinemas and theaters reopened 4.98
4 Aug 17 Nightclubs close, masks mandated 5.29
5 Sep 14 Some schools reopen 16.67
6 Sep 18 Relaxes ban on spectators at sporting events, allowing up to 1,000 fans per game 31.54
7 Oct 25 Restaurants and bars must close at 6pm, max of 4 people per table 351.84
8 Nov 05 National curfew from 10pm to 5am, all museums and galleries close, all shopping centers close on weekends, schools go full-time online, public transportation only allowed with 50% capacity (from 80% before) 570.64
9 Jan 06 Intra-regional travel banned until mid-January 336.18
10 Jan 10 Five regions became high-risk (including Lombardy), adding more restrictions, including limiting travel to/from them, as Italy goes back to tiered system, based on impact of virus, for restrictions 308.05
11 Feb 22 Extended inta-region travel restrictions until March 27th 159.06
12 Mar 02 Extended restrictions until April 6th, with all schools going virtual in the most badly hit regions 282.21

Differentiating Factors

Compared with Neighboring/Nearest Countries
  • 49.2
    Switzerland 573,815
    Per 1M

    Switzerland's reliance on facts and an open media drove its score up to the median, helping to counter weak financial support and limited restrictions on social interactions.

  • 72.5
    France 4,138,345
    Per 1M

    France maintained its improved public health policy from the early fall, keeping its score relatively strong, although poor contact tracing and a relatively small stimulus package kept it from being higher.

  • 31.3
    Spain 3,195,062
    Per 1M

    Spain's score jumped since January to just over the median, having implemented stricter public health policies, but the country's minimal stimulus support still drags down its overall score.

Further Reading From Foreign Policy

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New Zealand

Statistics and government response factors available on each country profile include:

Pre-COVID Conditions:

  • Debt to GDP ratio
  • Infant mortality rates
  • Hospital beds per 1,000 people
  • Gini coefficients measuring inequality
  • Health access and quality

COVID-19 Public Health Directives:

  • Stay-at home orders
  • School-closing policy
  • Public-gathering restrictions
  • Cancellation of public events
  • Testing policy and rates per 1,000 people
  • Emergency healthcare spending per capita
  • Travel restrictions
  • Contact tracing

COVID-19 Financial Response:

  • Stimulus package as a share of GDP
  • Income support
  • Debt-forbearance

Public Communications:

  • Instances of misinformation by leadership
  • Limitations on press freedom, censorship

Current/Historic In-Country COVID-19 Status:

  • Death rates per 1 million
  • Case rates per 1 million