Italy eager to reopen as contagion data improves

Photo: EPA People walk in via del Corso, Rome, 9 May 2021.

All of Italy enters the moderate-risk yellow zone on Monday on the basis of improved contagion data, except Sicily, Sardinia and Valle D'Aosta, ANSA reported. The health ministry announced on Sunday that Italy had registered 139 Covid-19-linked deaths in the previous 24 hours, the lowest daily figure since 25 October. Regional Affairs Minister Mariastella Gelmini said the government will set a road map this week for activities that have not yet benefited from the easing of Covid-19 restrictions.

These include gyms, indoor swimming pools and the wedding sector, all of which are currently barred from operating.

Italy is hoping to drop the quarantine requirement for visitors from the rest of the European Union, Britain and Israel by mid-May, Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said on Saturday. "The aim is to reopen to visitors from foreign countries which have reached a high level of vaccinations, loosening some measures as early as mid-May," he said after talks with Health Minister Roberto Speranza. "We are working to overcome the 'mini quarantine' for those who come from European countries, the United Kingdom and Israel, if they have a negative test, proof of vaccination or have recovered from coronavirus in the last six months." The current rules on EU arrivals expire on May 15.

Di Maio said Italy would also be working to increase the number of "Covid-free" flights to and from the United States, and to end the quarantine requirement from June.

"I, like I think most Italians, want to reopen, I want people to go back out to work, to have fun, to be together," PM Mario Draghi told reporters on Saturday after an EU summit in Portugal.

More on this subject: Coronavirus

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