Coronavirus: Italian village lets residents with autism and ADHD go to beaches

Staying indoors for a long time could be traumatic for people with conditions, authorities say

Zoe Tidman
Friday 24 April 2020 10:13
Comments
Coronavirus in numbers

An Italian village has allowed people with autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to go to the beach during the coronavirus lockdown.

The measure aims to help those who might particularly struggle with the order to stay indoors in Salve, southern Italy.

“Having to stay at home and only go outside for strictly necessary reasons is difficult for everyone, but especially for people with certain conditions,” the Comune di Salve said.

“For them, staying shut away in the house for a long time risks being a properly traumatic experience which could give rise to self-harming behaviours.”

People with these conditions can now go to a number of beaches in Puglia on the Ionian sea which are shut off to other members of the public during the nationwide lockdown over Covid-19.

Authorities have told people in Italy to stay at home unless it is essential – for example, to go to work or get groceries – in a bid to tackle the spread of the virus.

Those with autism and intellectual disabilities are able to go outside for health reasons as long as they stay near their house, according to the national rules.

However, Salve has decided to let people with these conditions move outside this area so they can go to the sea, as long as they are accompanied by a relative or helper.

The mayor, who has an autistic son himself, said “life has drastically changed” for families with autistic members in the lockdown, according to an Italian news agency.

“Now, at least my son can play in the place he loves, between the sand and the sea,” Francesco Villanova told ANSA.

Italy has been in lockdown for over a month as it battles the pandemic, with all public gatherings banned and restrictions placed on movement.

Nearly 190,000 people have been infected with the virus in the country to date.

The death toll for coronavirus patients stood at around 25,500 on Friday, according to official figures.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in