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Covid-19: Italy may reopen ski slopes from February 15th

The Local Italy
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Covid-19: Italy may reopen ski slopes from February 15th
Photo: AFP

Italy's ski slopes can reopen this month, but only in 'yellow zone' regions, the government's panel of scientific experts has said.

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Ski slopes across the country have been closed since November under strict measures intended to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

From February 15th, they can reopen in regions designated 'yellow zones' under the nation's tiered system of coronavirus restrictions according to the government's Technical Scientific Committee (CTS).

The rule change has not yet been officially announced by the government, but looks likely to go ahead according to Italian media reports.

MAP: Which zone is your region in under Italy's tier system?

At the moment 15 of Italy's 20 regions are designated yellow zones.

Ski slopes are expected to remain closed in orange and red regions.

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Some regional authorities are pushing for orange zones to also be allowed to reopen with precautionary measures in place, such as the mandatory use of FFP2 masks, but their proposals were rejected by the CTS on Thursday.

The decision to allow reopenings was praised by governors of northern Italian regions hard hit by the ban on ski tourism.

"The CTS has given a good signal which ... allows the revival of the mountains in time for the ski world championships on Sunday, February 7th, in Cortina," said Luca Zaia, president of the Veneto region.

"But the virus is still circulating and should not be underestimated," he added.

However, it's not yet known whether it will be possible for people to travel out of their region to visit ski resorts.

Italy is also due to review its ban on non-essential travel between regions, which stays in place until at least February 15th. 

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