Tue, 03 Aug 2021

ROME, June 19 (Xinhua) -- Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza on Saturday signed a new ordinance, extending the white or lowest-risk pandemic zone to most of Italy.

"The new ordinance will become effective on Monday June 21," the minister said.

The regions of Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Marche, Sicily, Tuscany and the Autonomous Province of Bolzano will join Abruzzo, Emilia Romagna, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Lazio, Liguria, Lombardy, Marche, Molise, Piedmont, the Autonomous Province of Trento, Puglia, Sardinia, Umbria and Veneto in the white zone, where most anti-virus restrictions are lifted.

The only remaining anti-virus regulations in the white zone are social distancing and the obligation to wear a mask both indoors and outdoors.

The northern region of Valle d'Aosta will remain in the yellow or low-risk zone, with some restrictions still in place, including a midnight to 5 a.m. curfew for people who have not been fully vaccinated.

In a bid to contain the second wave of the pandemic, Italy has been using a color-coded system for COVID-19 situation in different regions in the country since late last year -- white for almost zero risk, yellow for low risk, orange for medium risk, and red for high risk -- with varying restrictions according to the level of virus transmission.

Also on Saturday, the Ministry of Health reported 1,197 new coronavirus infections, 4,087 recoveries and 28 deaths.

So far, over 45 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Italy, of which more than 15 million people have been fully immunized, according to the government's running tally on Saturday.

On Friday, the Health Minister said on his Facebook page that he has signed a new ordinance "introducing a five-day quarantine with mandatory swab for travelers from Great Britain" due to the rise there of the Delta variant of the virus, which was first discovered in India.

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