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Naples allows pizza deliveries to resume under tough local rules

Since lockdown was enforced, people in Naples and the surrounding region of Campania have been missing out on one of the area's most famous creations - its pizza.

Naples allows pizza deliveries to resume under tough local rules
Pizza deliveries in Campania had been suspended under regional resrictions. Photo: AFP

Naples without its famed pizzerias may be hard to imagine, and while pizzerias and restaurants have been closed to the public nationwide, in most of Italy it has at least been possible to order a delivery.

But people in the Campania region have had to resort to making their own Neapolitan-style pizzas at home for the past few weeks, after deliveries were banned under the southern region's particularly strict coronavirus lockdown rules.

On Wednesday Campania's governor, Vincenzo De Luca, gave the go-ahead for pizzerias and other restaurants to resume home deliveries, local media reported.
 
The new ordinance also allows bakeries, ice cream shops and bars to deliver products to customers at home.
 
 
“It's a first step towards relaunching economic activities, with responsibility and prudence, and this requires everyone to comply with the rules,” De Luca told a press conference on Wednesday.
 
De Luca has also approved the reopening of bookshops and stationery shops, over a week after certain businesses in other parts of Italy were allowed to do so under national rules.
As well as italy's national rules, many regions have brought in their own set of regulations – often even stricter than those set by the national government.
 
 
Southern Italian regional authorities have been particularly concerned about the infection spreading from the worst-hit northern regions, amid fears that underfunded hospitals in many parts of the south could not cope with a similar outbreak.
 
As prime minister Giuseppe Conte is set to announce this week which – if any – lockdown rules will be relaxed nationwide after the current lockdown period ends on May 3rd, De Luca has said he would “close the borders” of the Campania region to prevent people arriving from the hard-hit north of Italy if travel restrictions are eased.
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COVID-19

Covid-19: Are Italian live events at risk of being postponed?

As the infection rate rises sharply across the country, Italian virologists are calling for concerts and festivals to be rescheduled.

Covid-19: Are Italian live events at risk of being postponed?

Italy has seen a large increase in the number of Covid-19 cases in recent days, so much so that a number of virologists across the country are now urging the government to postpone major live events in a bid to curb infections. 

According to a new report by Italy’s independent health watchdog, the Gimbe Foundation, 595,349 new cases were recorded in the week from June 29th to July 5th; a worrying 55 percent increase on the previous week. 

In the same time span, the country also registered a 32.8 percent rise in the number of hospitalised patients, which went from 6,035 to 8,003.  

The latest Covid wave, which is being driven by the highly contagious Omicron 5 variant, is a “real cause for concern”, especially in terms of a “potential patient overload”, said Nino Cartabellotta, president of the Gimbe Foundation. 

As Italian cities prepare to host a packed calendar of concerts and festivals this summer, health experts are questioning whether such events should actually take place given the high risk of transmission associated with mass gatherings.

READ ALSO: What tourists in Italy need to know if they get Covid-19

“Rescheduling these types of events would be the best thing to do right now,” said Massimo Ciccozzi, Director of Epidemiology at Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome. 

The summer wave is expected to peak in mid-July but, Ciccozzi warns, the upcoming live events might “delay [the peak] until the end of July or even beyond” and extend the infection curve.

Antonello Maruotti, Professor of Statistics at LUMSA University of Rome, recently shared Ciccozzi’s concerns, saying that live events as big as Maneskin’s scheduled Rome concert are “definitely not a good idea”. 

The Italian rock band are slated to perform at the Circus Maximus on Saturday, July 9th but the expected turnout – over 70,000 fans are set to attend the event – has raised objections from an array of Italian doctors, with some warning that the concert might cause as many as 20,000 new cases.

If it were to materialise, the prospected scenario would significantly aggravate Lazio’s present medical predicament as there are currently over 186,000 Covid cases in the region (nearly 800 patients are receiving treatment in local hospitals). 

Italian rock band Maneskin performing in Turin

Italian rock band Maneskin are expected to perform at the Circus Maximus in Rome on Saturday, July 9th. Photo by Marco BERTORELLO / AFP

But, despite pleas to postpone the event, it is likely that Maneskin’s concert will take place as scheduled.

Alessandro Onorato, Rome’s Tourism Councillor, said that rescheduling is “out of question” and that “all recommendations from the local medical authorities will be adopted” with the help of the event’s organisers and staff on the ground.

At the time of writing, there is also no indication that the Italian government will consider postponing other major live events scheduled to take place in the coming weeks, though the situation is evolving rapidly and a U-turn on previous dispositions can’t be ruled out.

READ ALSO: At a glance: What are the Covid-19 rules in Italy now?

On this note, it is worth mentioning that Italy has now scrapped all of its former Covid measures except the requirement to wear FFP2 face masks on public transport (though not on planes) and in healthcare settings.

The use of face coverings is, however, still recommended in all crowded areas, including outdoors – exactly the point that leading Italian doctors are stressing in the hope that live events will not lead to large-scale infection.

Antonio Magi, President of Rome’s OMCEO (College of Doctors, Surgeons and Dentists), said: “Our advice is to wear FFP2 masks […] in high-risk situations.”

“I hope that young people will heed our recommendations and think about the health risks that their parents or grandparents might be exposed to after the event [they attend].”

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