Covid: the Council of Ministers sets out new measures to tackle the virus

The Government is again cracking down on the spread of Covid. The proliferation of the Omicron variant, the rise in new cases among the Italian population, which now stands at around 100,000 new cases a day, and the prospect of widespread color changes between regions, have led the Council of Ministers to approve a new decree-law with urgent measures.

Starting from the 10th January, and until the end of the state of emergency, the reinforced Green Pass will be extended to hotels, celebrations after civil or religious ceremonies, festivals and fairs, conference centers, outdoor catering services, swimming pools, wellness centers, ski lifts and cultural centers, social and recreational centers for outdoor activities. In addition, the reinforced Green Pass is required for access to and use of transport including local or regional public transports.

There will be no precautionary quarantine for “those who have had close contact with confirmed COVID-19 positive cases within 120 days of completing the primary vaccination cycle or recovery and after the administration of the booster dose”.
Palazzo Chigi explains that by the 10th day after the last exposure to the case, “such persons must wear protective devices of the respiratory track, FFP2 type and do a rapid or molecular test on the fifth day after the exposure”.

The termination of the quarantine or self-monitoring will be possible with a negative rapid or molecular test, taken in private centers and the result must be transmitted to the local health authority in order to determine to end of the quarantine. Moreover, capacities have been reduced: 50% outdoors and 35% indoors. At the moment the obligation of a Green Pass for workers is excluded but the Council of Ministers will discuss about it on the 5th of January.

According to WHO the cut of quarantines is a “compromise” measure. The director for emergencies of WHO Michael Ryan declared that with the reduction of the quarantine on the one hand “there will be less cases that will develop the disease and be potentially contagious” and on the other hand “there will be a moderately small number of persons that will not transmit the disease getting out of the quarantine”. “It is a compromise between science and being absolutely perfect in what we try to do and damage economies and societies as little as possible. Governments are struggling to find this balance”.