Rome, (Asian independent) All regions of Italy has become the so-called “white zone”, with the lowest level of anti-coronavirus restrictions in the country’s four-tiered system.
From Monday onwards, people were no longer required to wear face masks outdoors except for large gatherings, reports Xinhua news agency.
But masks are still mandatory on public transport, in all public offices and indoor spaces.
Masks are “strongly recommended” in the presence of the vulnerable, such as the elderly, according to the technical-scientific committee advising the government on the coronavirus emergency.
Health Minister Roberto Speranza announced the move on June 25 after signing a specific decree allowing all regional authorities to lift restrictions on the base of the positive pandemic trends.
The latest monitoring report from the National Health Institute (ISS) showed a coronavirus incidence lower than 50 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in all of Italy’s 20 regions and autonomous provinces for more than three weeks.
However, health authorities remained cautious over the spread of the coronavirus variants across the country, and especially the Delta and Kappa strains which accounted for 16.8 per cent of all new infections in Italy in June, against 4.2 per cent in May, according to the latest ISS report.
“A growing number of outbreaks of the virus variants, and especially the Delta variant, are being registered in Italy, and they show a faster transmission rate and/or the ability to partially elude the immune system defence,” the ISS said on Monday.
It noted that the circulation of the Delta variant was pushing up cases in other countries where the vaccination campaign has already reached a large portion of the population, and therefore advised on “extensive tracking and sequencing of cases”.
Meanwhile, the ISS said pressure on the public health system was low, with an average 4 per cent occupancy of beds in intensive care units in all regions.
As of Monday, over 17.7 million people or 32.9 per cent of the population in Italy are fully immunized, while 49.8 million vaccine doses have been administered.
Overall, the country has registered 4,258,456 Covid cases, including 4 million recoveries, 127,500 fatalities, and more than 57,000 current active infections.