Italy passes 50 million covid vaccination milestone

The news comes as Italy eases outdoor mask-wearing rule.

Italy is set to pass the milestone of 50 million covid vaccinations administered on Monday 28 June, the same day as the whole country becomes a low-risk 'white zone' and relaxes its mask-wearing rules outdoors.

The news was announced today by health minister Roberto Speranza who said Italy's goal is to "vaccinate all Italians who want it with the first dose by the end of the summer."

The minister, speaking in Florence, said that the country's vaccination campaign is its "real weapon" against covid, particularly in light of the threat posed by more aggressive variants of the virus, reports Italian news agency ANSA.

"Today is a beautiful day because the whole of our country is now in the white zone and we can afford some more freedoms" - said Speranza - "but we must continue on the path of prudence and caution because the battle is not yet won, the virus still circulates significantly."

The minister also said that masks, which no longer need to be worn in non-crowded outdoor areas, remain "an essential element" in the fight against covid-19.

"We had almost 30,000 people in hospital, today we have 1,700 in all of Italy" - said Speranza - "we had 3,800 people in intensive care, today we have just under 300."

The minster also underlined the "very positive fact" that 13.7 million people have already downloaded the 'Green Pass' as of this morning.

The Delta variant currently accounts for almost 20 per cent of new covid cases in Italy, reports ANSA.

On Sunday Italy registered 14 coronavirus-related deaths and 782 new covid infections, according to the latest data from the health ministry.


For official information relating to the covid-19 situation in Italy - in English - see the health ministry website

Image: Trastevere district of Rome. Photo credit: Boris-B / Shutterstock.com.