Italy news live - Italians book their holidays, as the mask come off

Italians will once again be able to go outdoors without masks as temperatures in the Mediterranean country are expected to push past 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) in some southern areas this week.

In a decree that took effect Monday, the health ministry for the first time classified each of Italy´s 20 regions as “white”, the lowest of four categories under a colour-coded classification system that evaluates Covid-19 risk.

The impact is already visible in holiday hotspots, Lake Como and the Amalfi coast have both seen the surge in bookings from local italians.  A local Italian told WTX News ‘that he has booked a tour holiday in Santorini today, something he had been researching for 6 months in hope, has no become a reality.

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It means facemasks are no longer compulsory in outdoor areas — welcome news in a country where an ongoing heatwave is expected to push temperatures past 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) in some southern areas this week.

“It´s a kind of relief as it´s very hot,” local Salvatore Casuccio told news outlets in central Rome.

However, some people are still tentative about the face coverings and as you go out and about on Monday some were still wearing their masks, whether through habit or continued concern. whilst others have already started planning their holidays. Tourist and Italian hotspots like Lake Como and  Amalfi coast have already seen a surge in local tourism. With restaurant owners already seeing more footfall.

Italy coronavirus

Some didn’t even know the decree had come into effect. and by evening time the many more Italians had removed the face masks. Hotel staff and those working in restaurants still kept their masks on to ensure their workplace maintained a robust covid policy.

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Giulia, another Rome resident, was still wearing hers, as was her mother. “We are still concerned about this situation. It´s not over yet,” she said.

Once a symbol of the coronavirus crisis in the West — with images of army trucks transporting coffins from the overflowing morgue in the northern city of Bergamo seen around the world — Italy has seen infections and deaths plummet in recent weeks.

One-third of Italy´s population over the age of 12 had been fully vaccinated which is approximately 17.8 million people, according to the Italian government.

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