Italy’s government has extended several Covid restrictions that were due to expire on Monday, according to Italian media reports. Included among them are outdoor mask wearing and the closure of discos.
Following an agreement reached by ministers on Monday afternoon, the country’s outdoor mask mandate will now be extended until at least February 10th, according to Ansa. Nightclubs and dance bars will also remain closed until the same date.
The decision was reportedly approved at a cabinet meeting held on Monday afternoon with the intention of reviewing the expiring rules.
As of Monday evening, there were no reported changes to incoming rules scheduled to enter into force from February 1st. These include a reduction in the validity of Italy’s ‘super green pass’ Covid health certificate from nine to six months.
No fourth dose available
Those who had their booster early could see their pass expire in the coming days or weeks. This would also affect incoming foreigners from countries that started administering boosters earlier than Italy. However, with no fourth dose available, the government is reconsidering shortening the validity.
It is more likely the government will either keep the validity period at nine months, or perhaps extend it indefinitely for those who have had a booster. These are suppositions made in the Italian media on Monday.
Covid restrictions up for review
Other items still up for review include changes to the system of coronavirus risk ‘zones’ . Not updated this week, it is increasingly likely this may be scrapped. Furthermore, steps may be made to simplify the “cacophony” of rules on managing the health situation in schools in Italy. Ansa says these are “creating difficulties not only for the school system but also for millions of families”.
The government is expected to publish a new decree containing further changes on Thursday.
Economy is government focus
Boosting the post-COVID economy recovery is a government priority, and also for newly re-elected president Sergio Mattarella, Premier Mario Draghi said.
Draghi voiced satisfaction that the GDP rose 6.5% last year, the highest gain since 1976. This, said Draghi, was due to support for the economy and the success of the vaccine rollout. He added the cabinet would meet again on Wednesday to review 45 targets in the EU-funded post COVID National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP). They are worth a total of over 24 billion euros.