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HEALTH

Italy’s bars and restaurants reopen for indoor service on Tuesday

Bars and restaurants can serve customers indoors once again as Italy continues to ease its coronavirus restrictions.

Italy's bars and restaurants reopen for indoor service on Tuesday
Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP

From Tuesday June 1st, bars and restaurants across Italy can once again serve customers indoors, as well as outdoors – meaning restaurants which don’t have outside seating can now reopen.

And at bars, customers will once again be allowed to drink their coffee at the counter.

READ ALSO: What changes about life in Italy in June 2021?

The rules requiring bar and restaurant customers to wear masks when not sitting down, or eating or drinking, remain in place.

Drinking your coffee al bancone has has been forbidden since March, as serving all food and drink indoors was prohibited.

The ban sparked protests from Italy’s bar owners, who said the tradition of drinking coffee quickly while standing at the counter was the “lifeblood” of tens of thousands of small businesses.

Photo: GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP

Outdoor table service at bars and restaurants was allowed to resume in lower-risk ‘yellow’ zones from the end of April onwards as the country began gradually easing coronavirus restrictions.

Italy’s last remaining rules are set to be lifted over the next month – and almost all measures have already been dropped in the three regions declared low-risk ‘white’ zones from Monday May 31st.

Sports stadiums can also reopen to the public from Tuesday, at 25 percent of their maximum capacity.

From Monday June 7th, the evening curfew will be pushed back from 11pm to midnight throughout Italy – excluding the ‘white zone’ regions, where no curfew is required.

MAP: Which parts of Italy will become Covid-19 ‘white zones’ in June?

So far, only mask-wearing and social distancing rules must remain in place in white zones, the health minister has said.

The final set of rules in each region depends on the local authority, as each is free to impose stricter restrictions than those set by the national government.

Most, if not all, Italian regions are expected to be downgraded from ‘yellow zone’ risk status to ‘white’ this month, as the health data continues to improve across the country.

Member comments

  1. In bocca al lupo. What a sacrifice Italians have made to get to this point where restaurants and bars can open and people can drink an espresso at the bar. All my fingers and toes are crossed for a successful “riapertura”.

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HEALTH

Italian monkeypox cases rise to seven

Five infections have now been confirmed in Rome, as well as one in Tuscany and one in Lombardy, Italian health authorities said.

Italian monkeypox cases rise to seven

The total number Italian monkeypox cases rose to seven on Wednesday as a new case was reported by the Spallanzani hospital for infectious diseases in Rome.

Spallanzani is treating six cases: five found in Lazio and one in Tuscany, while the Sacco Hospital in Milan is treating one patient from the Lombardy region.

“There is no alarm, but the infection surveillance system is at a state of maximum attention,” Lazio’s regional health councillor Alessio D’Amato told the Ansa news agency.

Researchers at Spallanzani said the new cases are thought to be “part of a pan-European cluster” linked to cases in the Canary Islands, Ansa reported.

The first Italian case of monkey smallpox, or monkeypox, was also found in a man who had recently returned from the Canary Islands, doctors said last Thursday.

More than 250 monkeypox cases have now been reported in at least 16 countries where the virus isn’t endemic, almost all in Europe, according to the World Health Organization.

They are mostly in Spain, the UK and Portugal, with single-digit cases in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Switzerland, as well as Italy.

READ ALSO: What is Spain doing to deal with rising monkeypox cases?

The illness has infected thousands of people in parts of Central and Western Africa in recent years, but is rare in Europe and North Africa.

Monkeypox is known to spread via close contact with an animal or human with the virus. It can be transmitted via bodily fluids, lesions, respiratory droplets or through contaminated materials, such as bedding.

Its symptoms are similar but somewhat milder than those of smallpox: fever, headache, muscle aches, back pain, chills, exhaustion, although it also causes the lymph nodes to swell up.

Within one to three days, the patient develops a rash, often beginning on the face then spreading to other parts of the body. 

Although most monkeypox cases aren’t serious, studies have shown that one in ten people who contract the disease in Africa die from it.

The unprecedented outbreak of the monkeypox virus has put the international community on alert.

On Monday, the European Union urged member states to take steps to ensure positive cases, close contacts, and even pets be quarantined as this is a zoonotic virus (a virus that spreads from animals to humans).

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