The Italian Government has banned the use of overhead storage bins on all flights departing or arriving an Italian airport. The measure is thought to prevent crowds from clogging aisles while passengers place and retrieve overhead items upon boarding and deplaning.
Since this is a government-imposed mandate, passengers will not have to pay for checked baggage fees — as long as they’re within the airline’s size requirements for carry-on baggage.
Alitalia's website states:
“To protect the health of passengers, the use of overhead bins for the storage of hand baggage will no longer be allowed on all flights operated in Italy. Passengers will only be permitted to bring on board small baggage, that can be placed under their seat such as, for example, handbags, backpacks, laptop cases not exceeding 36x45x20 cm. We invite passengers to deliver their baggage to the airport at the Check-in / Drop-off counter, to be placed in the hold, free of charge.”
British Airways say:
“You will need to complete a Health Declaration form at check-in, and check-in any large hand luggage. Overhead lockers will not be used on your flight, so if your hand luggage will not fit under the seat in front of you, it will need to be checked in. There will be no additional charge for this, as long as it does not exceed the standard hand baggage allowance.”
Whether other countries follow suite with an all out ban remains to be seen, however, the UK Government has for some time recomended that passengers do not carry bags on board aircraft but check them in instead.