Italy’s foreign minister Luigi Di Maio said on Sunday that the country could not afford another lockdown. However, due to the growing number of daily infections, further restrictions are introduced – including a ban on family celebrations.
5,456 new coronavirus infections were confirmed last 24 hours in Italy, 26 people died, the Ministry of Health reported on Sunday. The data show that the trend of further cases remains stable. 104,000 tests were performed on one day.
During family meetings, “the vigilance is lowered and the mask is taken off”
Due to the pandemic, private celebrations, including at home, will be banned in the country, Health Minister Roberto Speranza announced on Sunday. According to the announcement of the head of the Ministry of Health, such a ban will be included in the upcoming government decree, which will include new regulations on combating the second phase of coronavirus infections.
Speranza said on a popular RAI 3 show that the virus was spreading at birthday parties for kids and teenagers, for example. It also stipulated that the ban would apply to all such celebrations, not only for the youngest and young people. When asked how the ban could be enforced in private homes, he explained that law enforcement would strengthen controls.
According to the minister, there are essential aspects of life, such as open schools, and those that are not necessary. In this context, he mentioned family and social events. Roberto Speranza pointed out that up to 75 percent. infections run in families. During family gatherings, he said, “alertness is lowered and the mask is taken off.”
Stricter recipes for face masks
In turn, the Ministry of the Interior in Italy announced on Sunday in a circular sent to local authorities in the country that the mask should also be worn when practicing physical activity. It is an interpretation of the rules that make a mask always compulsory in the open.
A document from the Ministry of the Interior, distributed by the media, explains that people practicing sports are exempt from wearing the mask. It did not include physical activity, i.e. mainly jogging. It was previously reported that the exemption from the requirement to cover the mouth and nose will also apply to motor activity.
According to the government regulation from the beginning of October, the wearing of masks in the open is obligatory throughout the country. Children up to 6 years of age and people whose health does not allow it were released. There is a fine of 400 to 1000 euro for not having a mask.
There were no such restrictive regulations on masks in the first, most severe phase of the epidemic this spring.
“We will start vaccinating from the beginning of next year”
The head of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Luigi Di Maio, as another government representative in Rome, said on Sunday that the country could not afford a new so-called lockdown. He announced that coronavirus vaccinations will begin early next year. In an interview with RAI, Di Maio emphasized: – I want to make it clear. Italy cannot afford a new lockdown, the economic and trade system cannot afford it.
He expressed this opinion when Giuseppe Conte’s cabinet is working on a decree to tighten some of the restrictions. The head of diplomacy remarked, recalling the beginning of the pandemic crisis: – In February we were absolutely not prepared, we had nothing, not even a production line.
This is how he referred to the lack of masks in Italy in the first weeks of the avalanche increase in coronavirus infections. – Now we have a country where there can be disruptions, but it is equipped and which has shown that it can face the crisis – he assured. Di Maio added that intensive care units are adequately equipped. “I’m not saying we’re at the end of the road,” he said.
He assured that by the end of the year Italy would receive the first doses of the vaccine thanks to cooperation with, among others, the University of Oxford. “We’ll start vaccinating from the beginning of next year,” announced Luigi Di Maio.
Coronavirus in Italy
The total number of deaths since the start of the epidemic has risen to 36,166 in Italy on Sunday. The number of virus infections detected so far is approaching 355,000. 239,000 people recovered.
Nationally, the number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care units is growing. From Saturday it increased by 30 to 420. There are over 4.5 thousand people in hospitals.
Currently, there are at least 79,000 infected in Italy.
Main photo source: PAP / EPA / CESARE ABBATE