Italy to extend restrictions when Christmas ends

After establishing harsh restrictions during Christmas, including the maintenance of the curfew at 10 pm and the closure of bars and restaurants, which can only sell takeout, the Italian Government is considering continuing with these and other measures when the holidays are over to try to avoid a spike in coronavirus infections. Among the sectors sacrificed will be education again, as various regions announced this Monday that they are delaying the reopening of face-to-face classes in secondary schools, initially scheduled for this Thursday, January 7. Territories like Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia postpone it until at least February.

Health authorities They fear that in the coming days there will be an increase in the number of infected people due to the increased sociability during Christmas celebrations. Despite the fact that throughout this period only two people with whom one does not live are allowed to invite to one’s own home, Pierpaolo Sileri, Deputy Minister of Health, acknowledged that there had been “a greater risk of exposure.” That is why the Government plans to approve a new decree with subsequent measures to minimize the risk of a third wave of the pandemic.

Among the restrictions that are being considered, according to the local media, is the maintenance of the prohibition on mobility in the regions and the invitation of more than two people to their own home. Bars and restaurants would have to remain closed, although they may be allowed to open only on weekends. These measures will be in effect at least until January 15. The Executive also plans to tighten the conditions required for the regions to go from the red level (which means almost total closure), to orange and yellow.

Italy registered 348 deaths from coronavirus on Monday and 10,800 new cases, detected with almost 78,000 tests, a relatively low number. The percentage of positives was 13.8%. “At this moment we are verifying the results of the shopping days prior to Christmas,” said Agostino Miozzo, coordinator of the Technical-Scientific Committee that advises the Government, referring to the agglomerations that occurred in the commercial areas of the cities some time ago. two weeks. Miozzo hoped that the “painful” restrictions on the Christmas period would lead to a fall in the epidemiological curve.

Italy is expected to receive a second shipment on Tuesday with 470,000 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine manufactured by Pfizer Biontech, although there is a serious delay in the supply of the first vials. The country has inoculated the serum to 122,000 people so far, using only 25% of the vials received. The very slow rate of vaccination in some regions, with flagrant cases such as Lombardy (less than 4%) or Sardinia, where the campaign has not even started, has provoked criticism from the central government to the regions, which have transferred health responsibilities .

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