Italy Relaxes COVID Curbs By Allowing Restaurants And Museums To Open, ‘Too Premature’ Say Experts.
AFTER reviewing the latest COVID-19 data, the Italian health ministry said it was shifting 11 regions from orange to so-called yellow zones. This move gives inhabitants much greater freedom to travel and allows bars and restaurants to reopen during the day.
In all, 16 regions will be in the lowest-risk yellow zone, and just four regions — Puglia, Sardinia, Sicily and Umbria — in the orange zone, together with the northern Bolzano province. Nowhere in Italy will be classified as a red zone, which brings with it stringent curbs on travel and business.
However, museums can stay open in “yellow” regions, but only during the week. In “orange” areas, bars and restaurants are limited to takeaway or home delivery service, people cannot leave their towns of residence except for work or urgent needs, and museums remain shut.
Italy has registered almost 88,000 coronavirus-related deaths since the disease first came to light last February — the second-highest toll in Europe after Britain and the sixth highest in the world.
After squashing the first wave last summer, Italy initially struggled to contain the second wave of contagions. However, daily cases have fallen some 36% from their peak in November, while deaths have held steady in a range of 400-500 a day.
The health ministry says the closely watched virus reproduction rate, dubbed ‘r’, has fallen beneath 1 across most of the country.
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