Italy to impose strict measures over the Christmas holidays

Dec, 4th 2020 – Italy is banning travel between its regions from 21 December to January 6, as part of coronavirus restrictions. Restaurants can open in some regions,  but only takeaways are allowed in other parts of the country. This comes as Italy records its highest daily fatalities from the virus, since the pandemic started, with 993 fatalities.

Health Minister Roberto Speranza on Wednesday stated that Italy will adopt strict restrictions over the Christmas holidays to avoid a third wave of the pandemic next year.

The new rules, effective from today will include an almost total ban of international movements and between Italian regions. The restrictions will be tougher on 25th to 26th of December and 1st of January when citizens would not be allowed to travel between cities.

A nation wide curfew at 10pm will be maintained on both the Christmas night and on the New year’s eve.

Mr. Speranza said that the Three-tie system adopted by the government to contain the second wave and avert a new lockdown is proving effective. He however added that restrictions cannot be relaxed. Speaking to lawmakers, he said, “We have no illusions. If we let our guard down, the third wave will be around the corner.”

Italy has recorded a drop in the infections curve in the past four weeks with infections stabilizing below 20,000 a day as the number of daily deaths remains high at over 500.

The minister said that the country has pre-ordered more than 202 million doses of anti Covid-19 vaccines which should be enough for vaccinating the entire Italian population as some vaccines require two dozes per person. He said, “We have signed all the contracts that the EU has formalized, we don’t want to run the risk of not having enough vaccines.”

The EU has so far signed contracts with CureVac, AstraZeneca, Sanofi-GSK, Johnson & Johnson, BioNtech-Pfizer, and Moderna, securing over a billion doses. He however added that the vaccine will not be mandatory but will be purchased and managed in a centralized way as it will be free of charge for all.

The first dozes will be provided to the vulnerable groups then the vaccination camp will start with health and sanitary workers followed by patients and staff for the elderly residencies and all medically vulnerable groups.

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