Covid-19: Italy announces new measures in response to soaring cases

The Italian government has decided that unvaccinated people will no longer be able to access restaurants, bars, cinemas, theaters, nightclubs and weight rooms.

Faced with the surge in new cases of Covid-19 affecting Europe, Italy adopted new measures on Wednesday, including an acceleration of the booster dose of the vaccine and restrictions for the unvaccinated.

“Our situation is one of the best in Europe,” Prime Minister Mario Draghi told reporters, “but this situation is slightly but constantly deteriorating”.

The government has decided that unvaccinated people will no longer be able to access restaurants, bars, cinemas, theaters, nightclubs and weight rooms. Only those vaccinated and those cured for less than six months will be able to access it, while those who until now were allowed to enter by simply showing a negative result of a test will no longer be able to do so.

Vaccination obligation extended to other professions

These measures will come into force from December 6 and will be valid until January 15, unless the situation worsens. In addition, since Wednesday, all Italians over 40 can receive the booster dose already five months after the second dose, the Ministry of Health having decided to shorten the six-month period initially planned.

Those over 18 will be able to obtain this third dose from December 1, said Health Minister Roberto Speranza. This third dose will be compulsory from December 15 for all health personnel.

The vaccination obligation, so far valid for health and teaching staff, will be extended to administrative staff in these two sectors, as well as to all members of the police and the military.

Over 75% of the Italian population vaccinated

The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the EU health agency responsible for epidemics, on Wednesday called on Europe to take “urgent” action in the face of the new wave of Covid-19, in the day after a warning from the WHO (World Health Organization) on the risk of another massacre this winter with more than 700,000 additional deaths.

Italy, which has paid a heavy price with more than 133,000 deaths since the start of the pandemic, is a good student in Europe with more than 75% of the population vaccinated.

Taking into account only those over 12, those for whom currently available vaccines are authorized, more than 84% of people have been fully vaccinated and almost 87% who have received at least one dose.

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