Italy debates further Covid rule changes as daily cases near 100,000

People wear face masks as they walk in central Rome.
Italy is expected to announce new restrictions just days after a new Covid-19 decree came into force. Photo: Vincenzo PINTO/AFP
Italy announced a new record high 98,020 Covid cases in the last 24 hours on Wednesday as the government considers further tightening health restrictions.

The daily positive figure is a sharp increase on Tuesday’s 78,313 cases, the previous record high since the start of the pandemic.

A total of 1,029,429 tests were carried out on Wednesday, compared to 1,034,677 on Tuesday, the data from Italy’s health ministry showed. The test positivity rate rose from 7.5 percent to 9.5 percent.

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There were 136 more Covid deaths reported on Wednesday, compared to 202 on Tuesday.

Intensive care cases increased by 40 to a total of 1,185 nationwide, and hospital admissions were up 489 to 10,578.

The figures came as the Italian government called a meeting on Wednesday evening to discuss further changes to the country’s health measures – just days after a new Covid-19 decree came into force.

The Italian government’s panel of scientific experts, the comitato tecnico scientifico or technical scientific committee (CTS). is expected to decide on Wednesday whether a cut to the quarantine period should be allowed for triple-vaccinated people who come into contact with a positive case.

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The change is expected to come amid concerns about the economic impact of millions of people having to quarantine in Italy at the same time.

Senior health ministry figures earlier this week predicted Italy would soon exceed 100,000 daily cases – meaning up to half a million more people could be required to quarantine every day.

Hundreds of trains are being cancelled daily, operator Trenord said on Wednesday, due to a high number of staff absences.

The Italian government is set to make a decision on Wednesday night following the scientific panel’s recommendations.

It will also discuss whether to extend a ‘super’ or reinforced green pass obligation to all workplaces, according to reports from news agency Ansa on Wednesday citing government sources.

A move to expand the country’s current vaccine mandate would face strong opposition from within the coalition government, however, and looks unlikely to be approved at Wednesday’s meeting according to La Repubblica.

Italy’s reinforced green pass. introduced in early December, can only be obtained via vaccination or recovery, and not with a negative test result.

For further details about Italy’s current Covid-19 health measures please see the Italian Health Ministry’s website (available in English).


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