One of the costumed participants races along the Grand Canal for the ‘Befana’ Regatta on January 6, … [+] 2014 in Venice, Italy. In Italian folklore, Befana is an old woman who delivers gifts to children throughout Italy on the feast of the Epiphany on January 6 in a similar way to Saint Nicholas or Santa Claus (Photo by Matteo Chinellato/Corbis via Getty Images)
Corbis via Getty Images
Authorities in Italy are discussing whether to adopt softer COVID rules during the Christmas celebrations, including the possibility of extending curfew and increasing the number of people meeting up for lunch or a toast.
The country is divided into three different color zones depending on contagion risk level, with more than half of the regions in partial lockdown as Italy’s death toll hits 45,000 since the outbreak of the pandemic.
Yet despite this scary COVID second wave, Christmas party time draws near and the government is mulling over how to ease rules and allow Italian families to enjoy the special event and kill the pandemic stress.
The debate is sparking some controversy among politicians and virologists, who question whether it’s appropriate to partially lift restrictions for some fun in the absence of a vaccine.
The risk is to trigger a new spike in cases once the Christmas vibe is over, just like it happened during summer when all COVID rules were practically abolished and then, after the sun and beach and carefree splashes in the sea, the country almost found itself back to square one.
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