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Italy eases restrictions in most regions

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Italy eases restrictions in most regions

Rome, Feb 2 (IANS) Coronavirus restrictions has been eased in most of Italy’s 20 regions after the country witnessed continued improvement in the pandemic situation.

Only Sicily, Sardinia, Apulia, Umbria, and the autonomous province of Bolzano remained in the so-called “orange zone” — meaning they were still facing a medium risk of the contagion, reports Xinhua news agency.

All the other regions turned yellow on Monday, which allowed restaurants, bars, and other eateries to resume their activities indoors up to 6 p.m.

No area in the country was currently in the red zone.

A three-tier system of red, orange, or yellow zones implemented since November 2020 denotes high, medium, or low risk, respectively according to the rate of virus transmission and the state of local hospitals.

Despite the positive development, a national curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. will remain in place across the country, as well as a ban on inter-regional travels but for proven work, health, or emergency reasons.

In the yellow regions, kindergartens and schools of all grades fully reopened on Monday, with 70 to 75 per cent students allowed to attend classes in their classrooms, and the rest following through remote learning.

Also, museums and art exhibitions were also allowed to reopen on Monday, provided that they were able to comply with social distancing and all other sanitary rules.

The decision to reduce the tight anti-pandemic measures resulted from the latest epidemiological survey unveiled by the National Health Institute (ISS) on January 30.

The survey showed a reproduction rate at 0.84 in the period under monitoring (up to January 24). That means one infected person spread the virus to less than one other person during that time.

ISS experts however, noted that the pandemic situation in other European countries was worsening and therefore “a new quick increase in the number of cases in the coming weeks is possible”.

As of Tuesday morning, Italy’s coronavirus caseload increased to 2,560,957, after 7,925 additional infections were registered in the last 24 hours, according to the Health Ministry.

Active infections decreased by 6,379 cases to a total of 447,589, confirming a downward trend seen since December 2020.

The country’s death toll stood at 88,845, with 329 new fatalities over the last 24 hours.

So far, over 2 million people in Italy have been administered one of the two authorised coronavirus vaccines.




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