Rome (Associated Press)-The Italian government decided on Wednesday to exclude unvaccinated people from certain leisure activities to curb the rising coronavirus infection and avoid a fiscal blockade when the economy starts to grow again.
Starting next week, only people who have a vaccination certificate or who have recovered from COVID-19 can eat, watch movies, or watch sporting events in indoor restaurants, but it does not include people who can enter such venues only by passing a negative test.
A new government decree also requires law enforcement personnel, the military, and all school employees to be vaccinated. In the past, only medical staff and teachers needed to be vaccinated.
Prime Minister Mario Draghi stated that these measures are necessary to prevent the “slow but steady” growth of infections while maintaining gains. Italy It was successful in restarting the EU’s third largest economy, which shrank by 8.9% last year.
In view of the upcoming holiday travel season and the wave of winter infections, this concern is particularly serious.For example, officials in the northern region desperately hope ItalyUnder normal circumstances, the ski industry generates annual revenues of 1.2 billion euros ($1.5 billion) and employs 5,000 permanent workers and 10,000 seasonal workers, and will continue to operate after two seasons lost due to COVID-19.
“We have begun to return to normal. We want to maintain this normality,” Draghi said at a press conference after the Cabinet unanimously approved these measures.
ItalyIn February 2020, when the outbreak began in February 2020 in Europe, the number of infections increased, but the level was higher than that of other EU countries. About 10,000 new cases were recorded every day, and the death toll was less than 100.
It has vaccinated more than 84% of the population over the age of 12, but the first dose appointment has stabilized, and there are 20 small towns in the north. Italy The vaccination rate is the lowest in the country, entering a semi-blocked state on Wednesday because the infection rate there is rising rapidly.
The purpose of the new measures is to prevent this complete lockdown — a curfew between 8 pm and 5 am, and the closure of bars and restaurants at 6 pm — a full restoration. The new law will allow restaurants and other establishments to continue to operate even when cases increase and hospitals are overcrowded, but only to those who have proof of vaccination or have recovered from COVID-19.
Unlike other countries, Italy Even if a large number of cases are vaccinated, many restrictions have never been relaxed: the requirement to wear masks indoors still exists, and Italy Last month, it became the first country in the West to require a health pass to enter the workplace.
The so-called “green pass” includes a vaccination certificate, a COVID-19 cure certificate or a negative test certificate. According to the new law, the government has introduced “enhanced” green passes that exclude the ability to test certain indoor activities.
For example, from December 6 to January, people who have not been vaccinated will not be able to go to the movies, theaters, or eat indoors. On the 15th, or beyond that date in areas where infection rates and hospitalization rates have increased.
The decree also adds activities that even require basic green passes, including staying in hotels or using regional or local public transportation. In the past, only long-distance public transportation required green passes.
The decree calls on local authorities to formulate enhanced control measures and report to the Ministry of the Interior every week on how they will implement the new measures.
Minister of Health Roberto Speranza admits Italy Doing better than many neighboring countries, but said that the country has learned that the key to fighting the pandemic is to take preventive and proactive measures.
“If you want to control the situation, staying in front of the virus is crucial,” he said.
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