L'Italie rend la vie plus inconfortable pour les personnes non vaccinées cette saison des vacances, en les excluant des restaurants intérieurs, des théâtres et des musées à partir de lundi pour réduire la propagation du coronavirus et encourager les vaccinateurs sceptiques à se faire vacciner. </p><div> <p>La police italienne a été habilitée à vérifier si les convives des restaurants ou des bars disposent d'un «super» pass sanitaire vert certifiant qu'ils sont soit vaccinés, soit qu'ils se sont récemment remis du virus. Les applications pour téléphones intelligents qui vérifient l'état du passeport santé des personnes ont été mises à jour pour empêcher l'accès à des concerts, des films ou des spectacles à ceux qui ont simplement été testés négatifs ces derniers jours. Les mesures courent jusqu'au 15 janvier.
Authorities have also imposed a requirement that a “basic” health pass, which can be obtained with a negative virus test, must be used to board local transport and to check in at hotels.
In the capital, Rome, dozens of police went to transport hubs to check both green passes and personal IDs, finding a cooperative mood among commuters. Yet a 50-year-old Roman became the first to receive a € 400 ($ 450) fine after getting off the bus at Flaminio North Station without the “basic” health pass, Chief Stefano Napoli said. deputy of the municipal police. .
“It was about time they checked it out,” said Sara Ben, a commuter from Rome, noting the lack of checks on often crowded local transportations throughout the pandemic.
The Milanese were taking advantage of the first long weekend of the season, including Tuesday’s celebration for the patron saint of Saint Ambrose and Wednesday’s National Day, leaving suburban routes more empty than usual. But few controls were evident around the main central station, whether for regional trains or local buses and subways.
Commuter Veronica Bianchi said her health card was not verified on a regional train arriving in Milan. “But they didn’t check the ticket either,” she said.
She supports measures the government is taking to encourage more people to get the vaccine, and said she noted that people in their 20s like her are more likely to get the vaccine.
“Frankly, I think we’re sick of being locked up. I work in a young company, and it was a race to get the vaccine, ”Bianchi said.
Encourage people to get vaccinated
The number of new Covid-19 infections in Italy has gradually increased over the past six weeks, even before concerns arose over the new Omicron variant. It’s a worrying trend as Italians look forward to the holiday season and getaways to spend time with friends and family, after being deprived of such festivities last year.
As neighboring Germany and Austria prepare to make vaccines compulsory for certain groups, Italy instead is tightening restrictions on free time for the unvaccinated at the friendliest time of the year, while allowing vaccinated to live more or less as usual. .
European countries have found different formulas to try to reduce infections during peak periods.
Ahead of the holidays, Switzerland began on Monday allowing – but not forcing – event planners to ban anyone who has not been vaccinated or has not recovered from Covid-19. Sweden introduced a vaccination requirement for indoor events with more than 100 people from December 1.
On Monday, the Netherlands backtracked from plans to open indoor places to vaccinated people only, sticking to a 5 p.m. closure for restaurants, cinemas and other public sites instead.
Italy’s vaccination rate is higher than that of many of its neighbors, at 85 percent of the eligible population aged 12 and over and 77 percent of the total population. But people in their 30s, 40s and 50s were found to be the most reluctant to get the vaccine, with nearly 3.5 million still not receiving their first dose.
They also belong to the same age group that is now hardest hit by the virus, according to Silvio Brusaferro, head of the Italian National Institute of Health.
So far, the Delta variant remains widespread, with just seven confirmed cases of Omicron in Italy, linked to two businessmen returning from southern Africa.
With the holiday shopping season heating up, many cities including Rome and Milan have ordered mask warrants even outside.
Public health officials say vaccinations, along with prudent public behavior, including wearing masks in crowds indoors or outdoors, are key to reducing infection levels as the weather rises. winter pushes more activity indoors. They attribute Italy’s relatively high vaccination level as one of the reasons the infection curve is not as steep as it was last winter, when broad restrictions were imposed with the spread of the Delta variant. .
“It is clear that after two years of the pandemic, we cannot easily close schools for physical classes and shut down economic activity,” said Gianni Rezza, director of prevention at the Ministry of Health.
“Therefore, you can try to limit the spread of the virus with sustainable measures and with proper use of the health pass. Then the big bet is on vaccinations, ”he said.
New York mayor announces vaccination mandate for the private sector
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday announced a general Covid-19 vaccine mandate for the private sector in the largest city in the United States, starting in late December.
The order goes further than a nationwide mandate established by President Joe Biden for companies with more than 100 employees to vaccinate workers by Jan. 4 which has been blocked by court suspensions.
“Starting today, we will be announcing a measure that is unique in the country – our health commissioner will announce a vaccine mandate for private sector employers at all levels,” de Blasio said on MSNBC, adding that it would come into effect on December 27. .
Vaccination warrants have a long history in the United States, but have typically been issued by cities or states.
De Blasio cited the emergence of Omicron, winter cold and holiday gatherings as “additional challenges” to tackle the pandemic in the city, which was hit hard by the virus in 2020, with at least 34,000 death.
Omicron cases have been confirmed in at least 15 US states since they were first reported in late November, including several in New York City, with de Blasio saying he was “very concerned.”
“We in New York have decided to use a preemptive strike to really do something bold to stop the further growth of Covid and the dangers it poses to all of us,” he said. .
Besides the mandate, which would cover some 184,000 businesses and corporations, he said there would be other steps to “focus on maximizing immunization quickly so that we can get ahead of Omicron and all the other challenges that we are facing. currently facing Covid ”.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP)