During the Covid-19 pandemic, several countries have resorted to self-adaptive mechanisms that allow containment measures on epidemiological and health care indicators to be tailored. In this paper, we propose a model for the spread of the epidemic that embeds an algorithmic mechanism to define non-pharmaceutical interventions automatically. Such a mechanism reproduces the self-adaptive colour-based regional tier system, effective in Italy since November 2020.
The analysis shows that self-adaptive mechanisms based on the pace of virus transmission respond swiftly to surges in the number of cases, but they involve strict restrictions on mobility and social contacts. With more favourable external conditions, for instance high vaccine coverage, mechanisms based on hospital occupancy rates allow for milder restrictions, while obtaining public health outcomes comparable with those achieved under more restrictive policy schemes.