Italy tightens restrictions on unvaccinated as cases rise

Italy tightened curbs on Monday (December 6) on people still not vaccinated against COVID-19, limiting their access to an array of places and services.

The measures were announced last month, even before the discovery of the highly contagious Omicron variant, and come as cases of coronavirus are starting to tick up across the country, albeit at a slower rate than in many other European nations.

Police were making checks on buses, metro stations and trams in Rome as the basic health pass, which is available to the unvaccinated but only if they have had a negative COVID test within the past 48-hours, became obligatory for all public transport.

Police started enforcing the measure from the early hours, with anyone caught without the health certificate facing an automatic 400 euro ($451) fine.

Also under the new rules, only people who have been vaccinated or have recently recovered from COVID can access indoor seating at bars and restaurants, can visit museums, go to the cinema and clubs, and attend sporting events.

A basic green health is still valid for all workers and is also now required for anyone wishing to stay in a hotel or to access sports changing rooms.

Italy has one of the highest vaccine uptakes in the world with 80% of the entire population having received either one or two jabs, while around 15% of people have had a booster shot.

COVID infections have risen in recent weeks, hitting 15,000 on Sunday, less than half the number of cases recorded in Germany, France and Britain, with the high vaccine rate being credited for helping contain the disease.

There were violent protests by no-vaxxers in October when the government first introduced the green pass for all workers, but the nationwide demonstrations have dwindled markedly over the past month.

(Source: Reuters)

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