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Italy records fewer weddings and more divorces during pandemic

Marriages are becoming increasingly rare in Italy, all the more so during the coronavirus pandemic, official data showed on Thursday. Meanwhile, the number of divorces spiked in 2020.

Italy records fewer weddings and more divorces during pandemic
Photo by Siora PhotographyUnsplash
In the first quarter of 2020 – when the country was struck by the virus – the number of Italians who tied the knot was down by around 20 per cent year-on-year, national statistics office Istat said.
 
In the second quarter of last year, when a strict lockdown was in place for most of the time, marriages dropped by 80 per cent and separations and divorces by around 60 per cent.
 
Lockdown restrictions included a ban on wedding parties.
 
But marriages were decreasing in Italy even before the country fell victim to the coronavirus. In 2019, Istat registered around 184,000 weddings, down six per cent from 2018 and around 25 per cent fewer than in 2008.
 
On the contrary, divorces have become more common, mainly thanks to changes in legislation that sped up procedures, Istat said, noting they went up from around 54,300 in 2008 to more than 85,000 in 2019.
 
 
The divorce rate in italy increased by 60 percent in 2020, according to Italy's National Divorce Association (l'Associazione nazionale divorzisti italiani

“The requests for separation have increased a lot, mainly due to forced coexistence,” the association's president, family laywer Matteo Santini, told Sky TG24.

In 40 percent of cases, the divorces were due to the fact that lockdown made it more difficult to hide infidelity and “double lives”, lawyers said.

Another 30 percent of separations were due to domestic violence, and the remaining 30 percent were listed as being down to other causes.

“It's one thing to share weekends and evenings but another to share the whole day, with all the problems related to the health emergency: health stress due to illness, lack of work, living with children with difficulties related to distance learning,” Santini said.

“This causes an emotional explosion that leads to the desire for separation and the request for separation.”

There were more than twice as many separations recorded in the north in 2020, with 450 per thousand couples in the north, and 200 in southern Italy.As with many sets of statistics in Italy, there was a marked difference between the north and south of the country.

Italy, where more than 80 percent of people describe themselves as Catholic, has long had one of Europe's lowest divorce rates, with only Ireland, Slovenia, and Malta reporting lower figures.

Divorce numbers in the country however surged in 2015 after the enactment of legislation making it easier and quicker to end failed marriages.

Several Italian studies have confirmed that the pandemic and subsequent economic crisis is having a major impact on families, with national statistics agency Istat finding that Italy's already record-low birth rate was plunging even further due to “the climate of fear and uncertainty and the growing difficulties linked to employment and income generated by recent events.”

Italy has long had the problem of a falling birth rate and an ageing population.

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TRAVEL NEWS

Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

The mandatory EU-wide mask requirement for air travel is set to be dropped from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still require passengers to wear masks on some or all flights

Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

Europe-wide facemask rules on flights are set to be ditched as early as next week in light of new recommendations from health and air safety experts.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) dropped recommendations for mandatory mask-wearing in airports and during flights in updated Covid-19 safety measures for travel issued on Wednesday, May 11th.

The new rules are expected to be rolled out from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still continue to require the wearing of masks on some or all of flights. And the updated health safety measures still say that wearing a face mask remains one of the best ways to protect against the transmission of the virus.

The joint EASA/ECDC statement reminded travellers that masks may still be required on flights to destinations in certain countries that still require the wearing of masks on public transport and in transport hubs.

It also recommends that vulnerable passengers should continue to wear a face mask regardless of the rules, ideally an FFP2/N95/KN95 type mask which offers a higher level of protection than a standard surgical mask.

“From next week, face masks will no longer need to be mandatory in air travel in all cases, broadly aligning with the changing requirements of national authorities across Europe for public transport,” EASA executive director Patrick Ky said in the statement. 

“For passengers and air crews, this is a big step forward in the normalisation of air travel. Passengers should however behave responsibly and respect the choices of others around them. And a passenger who is coughing and sneezing should strongly consider wearing a face mask, for the reassurance of those seated nearby.”  

ECDC director Andrea Ammon added: “The development and continuous updates to the Aviation Health Safety Protocol in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic have given travellers and aviation personnel better knowledge of the risks of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and its variants. 

“While risks do remain, we have seen that non-pharmaceutical interventions and vaccines have allowed our lives to begin to return to normal. 

“While mandatory mask-wearing in all situations is no longer recommended, it is important to be mindful that together with physical distancing and good hand hygiene it is one of the best methods of reducing transmission. 

“The rules and requirements of departure and destination states should be respected and applied consistently, and travel operators should take care to inform passengers of any required measures in a timely manner.”

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