Italy has also imposed travel restrictions to several African countries: South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Eswatina – the former Swaziland – have been suspended due to another type of coronavirus outbreak there.
As for the epidemiological situation in Italy, according to the Ministry of Health, Covid-19 wards in hospitals in the provinces of Friuli Venezia Giulia and Marche have reached critical levels. In those two areas, they could tighten from Monday, a week before the national restrictions scheduled for December 6. Il Piccolo daily Trieste is confident of an increase in the epidemic throughout Friuli, but an official announcement is expected from the Minister of Health on Friday afternoon, as usual.
In the province bordering Slovenia, which has a population of 1.2 million, it will again be necessary to use a mask to cover the mouth and nose, cinemas and theaters will allow to accommodate only half the audience and discos will be closed. Only vaccinated people can take public transportation.
The tightening will last for a week, as the national restrictions announced by the Romanian government on Wednesday night will come into effect from December 6. It will be valid until January 15th. These restrictions link vaccination with short and long-term use of public transportation, visits to hotels and restaurants, and access to cultural and sports facilities. Contrary to previous rules, as of December 6, protection can only be demonstrated by taking at least one dose of the vaccine or recovering from illness. A negative test result is no longer a substitute for vaccination.
Friuli Venezia Giulia could not wait until the December 6 deadline due to the worsening indicators of the epidemic: the number of new patients per 100,000 residents in the region rose to 318 in the past week. The focal points are Trieste, where 674 new patients were identified in one week, and the border city of Gorizia, where 492 new patients were registered out of a hundred thousand population. Saturation in district hospital Covid-19 wards has exceeded eighteen percent, and in intensive care units it has exceeded sixteen percent, compared to eight and six percent nationwide. According to Thursday’s data, the reproduction rate in Friuli-Venezia Giulia, which shows the spread of the epidemic, has approached nine percent, which means that each patient will infect more than eight other people.
In the Trentino-Alto Adige region, as well as the 20 municipalities that were closed by December 6, outdoor masks are again made mandatory in Bolzano;
The daily La Repubblica reports that the epidemic is getting worse in the province of Veneto, in the northern Aosta Valley and Lombardy, as well as in Lazio in central Italy, on the border with Friuli.
The mayor of Milan, Giuseppe Sala, announced that the use of a mask on shopping streets in the city center will be mandatory from Saturday until December 31. Those traveling without a mask can be fined up to 3,000 euros. The mask is also obligatory at Christmas fairs in Bergamo, in the inner districts of Florence and Bologna. A similar procedure was planned in the center of Rome.
The daily Corriere della Sera knows that the peak of the epidemic is expected on the days of Epiphany, around January 6, when the country or certain regions will be asked to close completely again if necessary.
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