Impacts of the coronavirus on the Italian paper industry are limited so far. Goods are reportedly flowing and production is running.
After locking down the Lombardy region and several other provinces on 8 March, Italy has now expanded the lockdown to the entiry country. As from 9 March, several measures including travel restrictions were implemented to prevent the coronavirus from spreading further.
Following uncertainty in the industry, the government has clarified that goods will continue to flow. The Italian Ministry of Economic Development has issued a statement that refers to the decree of 8 March saying that "goods may enter and leave the territories concerned. The transport of goods is considered as a work requirement: drivers can therefore enter and leave the territories concerned and move within them, limited to the needs of delivery or withdrawal of goods."
Several market players in the paper industry confirmed to EUWID on 10 March that there are currently no problems in transporting their goods or in sourcing raw materials. However, it was early to assess the impacts of these strict measures, one respondent said. Some players mentioned that lorry drivers from abroard did not want to enter Italy for fear of the virus.
Paper and board plants in Italy seem to continue producing normally. Several paper suppliers and converters told EUWID there were no downtimes. Where possible, companies let the staff work from home.
The coronavirus has hit Italy harder than any other European country so far. By 9 March, Italy had recorded 9,172 coronavirus cases.
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