Amid the rising number of COVID-19 cases and the festive season ahead, Italy has put a ban on Christmas midnight mass and travelling between regions from December 21 to January 6, 2021. By Kumar Shree
As the festive season is just around the corner, it could increase the number of people travelling between regions. Plus, Christmas midnight mass could also bring a lot of people on the streets to enjoy the festivities. Anticipating the further rise in COVID-19 cases, Italy has decided to ban both these activities.
Apart from the bans, a curfew from 10:00 pm to 05:00 am will also be imposed during this period. Select restaurants in some regions will be allowed to operate till 06:00 pm, and a few will be allowed to function only for takeaways. Ski slopes in the country will also remain closed until January 7, 2021.
As reported by India.com, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte says, “We cannot let down our guard. We must eliminate the risk of a third wave which could arrive in January—and not less serious than the first and the second.”
Only those venturing out for work-related travel, medical reasons or any emergencies can seek an exception from the ban. People will not be allowed to leave their hometowns on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year‘s Day for any other reasons. The authorities ascertain that it is necessary to put such strict measures in place to keep the Coronavirus spread at bay.
However, the majority of the population—especially business owners such as restaurant owners—are upset about this decision. Many regional authorities have also released official statements addressing their dissatisfaction with the same. People were hopeful that the festive season would help revive their businesses, but the ban has maligned their anticipations.
The Health Minister of Italy announced this ban and other restrictive measures on Wednesday, December 2 after Italy recorded its highest daily death toll.