Where in Italy will ski resorts reopen from February 15th?

Some of Italy's ski resorts will reopen from next week, but there are still a lot of restrictons in place. Here's what you need to know.

Where in Italy will ski resorts reopen from February 15th?
At the moment, Italian slopes can only open to professional skiers. Photo: Marco Bertorello/AFP
Ski resorts in northern Italy's Lombardy region, the epicentre of the start of the coronavirus outbreak in Europe, will reopen from February 15th, regional authorities said on Wednesday.
Lombardy's decision came after ski slopes got the green light to reopen from the expert panel that advises central government on public health measures.
From February 15th, ski slopes 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).

It is the first time in the current winter season that skiing will be allowed anywhere in Italy, as slopes across the country have been closed since November under strict coronavirus measures.

In Lombardy, the daily number of skiers will be limited to no more than 30 per cent of the hourly capacity of cable cars and ski-lifts.
The region plans to enforce a number of precautions to limit crowding on the slopes, including a cap on ski pass sales.
Which other regions will allow skiing to restart from February 15th?
Skiing could resume next week in other mountain regions, as long as they remain in the lower virus-risk 'yellow zone' areas.
The decision is down to each regional authority.
Trentino had hoped to reopen slopes from February 17th. However, it has been declared an orange zone from Sunday, meaning the plan will have to be postponed.
The health ministry can also change regions' designated zone based on the level of contagion risk.
The ministry makes its regional assessments based on data from a weekly monitoring report issued on Fridays. 
Under current measures, most of the country is yellow except for Umbria, Sicily, and the autonomous province of Bolzano.

But the regional map doesn't tell the whole story.

Many towns and provinces have now declared 'red zone' restrictions after localised spikes in cases.

That's the case for hotspots in Umbria, Molise, Abruzzo, Tuscany and Campania as well as the entire autonomous province of Bolzano, which are effectively under temporary lockdown despite being surrounded by yellow or orange zones.

Italy is also due to review its ban on non-essential travel between regions, which stays in place until at least February 15th. 
Italy is still in the throes of the pandemic, with many health experts cautioning against recent reopenings.
In the past 24 hours, nearly 13,000 people have tested positive for the coronavirus, and 336 people died from Covid-19.
The latest figures brought total infection numbers in Italu to almost 2.67 million, and the overall death toll to 92,338.

Member comments

  1. They won’t technically have to ‘lift it’ as it won’t exist anymore. It is due to run out, and will do, unless a new government enacts an extension.

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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].”