Italy bars unvaccinated from dining in restaurants, attending shows | TheHill – The Hill

Italy’s government announced Wednesday that unvaccinated individuals will be barred from some nonessential activities, such as dining inside restaurants, going to movie theaters and attending sporting events, as the country seeks to contain a rise in COVID-19 cases.

The Italian government said the country is ending the option for unvaccinated people to simply present a negative COVID-19 test to engage in such activities, pushing individuals to get the shot in order to participate, The Associated Press reported.

The country is also mandating vaccines for law enforcement, military personnel and school employees, the AP reported. Before, only health care and senior home workers were mandated to be vaccinated in the country.

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“We want to be very cautious,” Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said during a press briefing, as reported by The New York Times. “We want to keep this normality.”

Concern began to mount as government leaders in highly infected areas of the country urged the Italian government to put more pressure on the unvaccinated as the economy struggles to recover from the pandemic, the Times reported.

“I don’t think that anyone prefers a lockdown to different measures for citizens who protected themselves with a vaccine and citizens who chose not to do it,” Giovanni Toti, the president of the northern region of Liguria, Italy, stated last week, according to the Times. “We have to assure families, citizens and businesses that this country will not close again.”

In October, Italy began a COVID-19 vaccination certificate program that at the time was considered one of the world’s strictest. 

The country was the first in Europe to mandate a so-called health pass that requires everyone to have proof they received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, have recently recovered from an infection, or have had a negative test in the last 48 hours if they want to go to work.

According to data from the New York Times, 73 percent of Italians are fully vaccinated, and there has been a 68 percent daily case rate increase in the past two weeks and 32 percent daily death rate increase in the same time.

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Italy bars unvaccinated from dining in restaurants, attending shows | TheHill – The Hill

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