Thursday, January 20, 2022

New Year: Italy bans outdoor celebrations

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Italians will have to celebrate New Year indoors, a government minister warned on Monday, as he ruled out exceptions to curfew rules for December 31.

If we decide that people cannot stay out beyond a certain hour, “we return home regardless of what we have to do, “Regional Affairs Minister Francesco Boccia told RAI public television.

“Are there New Year’s celebrations? We celebrate at home,”he added.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte’s government is facing a difficult decision this week on the extent to which coronavirus restrictions can be eased ahead of the Christmas holiday season.

Boccia reportedly told colleagues over my dead body when the option of postponing the current 10 pm curfew to a later hour was discussed. “Yes, that’s what I think,’’ he said on RAI.

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The government is expected to issue new coronavirus rules by Thursday at the latest, when current measures expire. The executive was set to discuss the issue with regional presidents on Tuesday.

The head of the Liguria region, Giovanni Toti, called for a Christmas with “a bit more freedom for the economy and socialising’’ in areas with low infection rates.

He suggested allowing restaurants to open in the evening (they currently have to close at 6 pm) and letting people attend midnight Mass on Christmas Eve.

Other contentious issues are relaxing a ban on travel between regions to let people join relatives for the festivities, and allowing skiing holidays.

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The head of the national doctors’ association, FNOMCeO, Filippo Anelli, warned against a “free for all’’ and said restrictions should stay to avoid a new spike in infections.


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