The Italian Ministry of Health announced on Friday, February 19, a strengthening in three regions of measures to fight the Covid-19 epidemic but spared new restrictions in the two largest cities, Rome and Milan.
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The region of Campania, which includes Naples, Emilia-Romagna with its administrative center Bologna and little Molise, will move from the “yellow” category (moderate risk) to the “orange” category (medium risk) from Sunday February 21, the ministry said.
This implies the closure of bars and restaurants, which can remain open until 5 p.m. in the “yellow” regions and also additional travel restrictions, people in the “orange” regions cannot leave their commune of residence, except for professional reasons or in case of emergency.
The Italian media had suggested that Lombardy and Lazio, respectively the regions of Milan and Rome, also risked passing in the “orange” category, but this was ultimately not the case.
So far, only five out of twenty regions, including Tuscany, are “orange”.
However, a number of localized containments have been put in place in areas affected by more contagious variants of the coronavirus.
The greater transmissibility of variants requires the rapid implementation of restrictions when necessary,
" said the health think tank
which called on Italy to step up work on the sequencing of the viruses.
New Prime Minister Mario Draghi pledged this week to use "
" to fight the pandemic, starting with a faster vaccination program as soon as vaccines become available.
Only about 1.3 million people have received the two doses of vaccine needed for immunization to date, out of a total population of about 60 million.
Italy was the first European country to face the full force of the Covid-19 pandemic a year ago, recording more than 95,000 virus-related deaths since then.