Italy debates new covid restrictions at Christmas

Italy records highest number of covid cases in over a year.

Italian premier Mario Draghi confirmed on Wednesday that the government would evaluate imposing additional covid restrictions at a meeting on Thursday, two days before Christmas.

The prime minister did not exclude the possibility of requiring vaccinated people to undergo covid tests, to grant access to crowded venues, or making the wearing of masks mandatory outdoors.

Stressing the importance of vaccines as "the best defense against the virus", Draghi urged "all citizens to continue getting vaccinated, to take the third dose, this is the priority."

The premier said that reducing the duration of the covid Green Pass was also on the table however he ruled out the possibility that school holidays would be extended after Christmas.

"We want to defend normality and take all precautions", he said, adding: "All decisions are guided by data, not politics."

Italian media has reported that the possible new measures could include requiring covid tests for night clubs and New Year's Eve events, even for vaccinated people, and extending compulsory vaccination to additional categories of workers.

Currently the covid vaccine is obligatory for the nation's teachers, police officers, military, prison guards, administrative staff in hospitals and schools, and healthcare workers.

Data published by the health ministry on Tuesday showed that Italy had registered 30,798 new covid cases in the previous 24 hours, the highest level since November 2020.


For official information in English on the covid-19 situation in Italy see the health ministry website.

Cover image: Christmas shopping on Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, Milan, December 2021. Photo credit: VILTVART / Shutterstock.com.