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Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia

Italy cinemas and stadiums can serve food and drinks from 10 March

Costa says move is a "new sign of a restart".

From 10 March it will once again be possible to consume food and drinks in Italy's theatres, cinemas, stadiums and live music venues, amid a further easing of the government's covid restrictions.

The news was announced on Thursday by deputy health minister Andrea Costa who described the measure as an "important response for some of the sectors worst affected" by the covid-19 pandemic, and "a new sign of a restart."

The move comes as Italy draws nearer to the scheduled end of the state of emergency, with the government aiming not to extend the legislation when it expires on 31 March.

Thursday's announcement is the latest in a series of restrictions to be relaxed and follows the lifting of the outdoor mask mandate, which now only applies in crowded areas and indoor public places.

The government has relaxed the quarantine system for schools and made the Green Pass infinite for those with a third "booster" dose of the covid vaccine, and plans to steadily increase the permitted capacity of sports stadiums in March.

Italian premier Mario Draghi recently promised to move towards "reopening the country even more", however this gradual easing of restrictions does not apply to those who are unvaccinated.

On 15 February the government's controversial vaccine mandate came into force for workers aged 50 or over who will be suspended without pay unless they get vaccinated.

For official information about the covid-19 situation in Italy (in English) see the health ministry website

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