Saturday, December 10, 2022

Italy and the United States toughen their measures to prevent the advance of the Omicron variant

Italy and the United States toughen their measures to prevent the advance of the Omicron variant

First modification:

To prevent infections from deepening as in other sectors of the continent, the Italians will apply a reinforcement of the health pass, excluding all those not vaccinated to enter shows or places of food; while the Americans expanded the requirements for travelers, both to enter the country and to leave the territory. Meanwhile, the Ómicron variant reached Argentina, where the first case was recorded.

The outbreak of Covid-19 infections and the rapid spread of the Omicron variant set off alarms globally and forced countries to make quick resolutions so that the number of cases does not worsen.

In this context, Italy and the United States joined the nations that tightened their restrictions. The Europeans did it in what corresponds to urban circulation, while the North Americans increased the conditions for travelers.

Italian citizens who are not vaccinated will have a greater number of difficulties to enter public places after the Government announced that a reinforced health certificate will be necessary to enjoy leisure activities. This pass can only be carried by people who are immunized or cured of coronavirus.

A Policeman Checks The Health Passes, Known As Green Passes, Of A Group Of People At A Restaurant On The Day The Government Restricts Access For The Unvaccinated, In Naples, Italy, December 6, 2021.
A policeman checks the health passes, known as Green Passes, of a group of people at a restaurant on the day the government restricts access for the unvaccinated, in Naples, Italy, December 6, 2021. © Ciro de Luca /

This new certificate will be called ‘Super Green Pass’ to differentiate it from the ‘Green Pass’ that was already in operation for those who have been vaccinated, cured or those who present a negative test. The reinforced circulation passport will be enabled only for the first two cases.

This imposition affects approximately six million Italians who have not yet been inoculated. 84.76% – around 45.7 million people over 12 years of age – of the population have.

Until now, the ‘Green Pass’ was used to board public transport, the railway, to use work canteens or hotel restaurants, attend parties and ceremonies, such as weddings or baptisms.

More limitations to go to public spaces in Italy

However, the reinforced version will exclude unvaccinated people from attending cinemas, theaters, sporting events, nightclubs or from being able to consume inside bars and restaurants. In addition, it will not expire on January 15 in those regions that are in the second and third level of risk within the scale made up of four categories.

The measure will be in force throughout the country, without differentiating the contagion rates of each region, until January 15 in order to combat the rise in positive cases that has occurred in recent weeks and which registers an average of 15,000 cases per day.

It is a preventive decision so that the situation does not worsen to the point of having to resort to confinement or restrictions that affect trade and the Christmas holidays.

Meanwhile, from December 15 it will be mandatory for administrative personnel of Health and Education, teachers, military and rescue operations.

The United States aims to control travelers

As of this Monday, the new requirements necessary for anyone who wants to enter US territory, whether a citizen or a foreigner, and regardless of the status of their vaccination, come into effect. President Joe Biden had warned that this could happen “while scientists study the Omicron variant.”

The most severe change that comes into effect is that everyone over two years of age must undergo and present a negative test in the 24 hours prior to boarding the flight to the North American country, something that could previously be done 72 hours before. This does not apply to people who enter through a border port or by sea.

On the other hand, the use of masks on planes, trains and other means of public transport was extended until March 18.

These measures are in addition to the still-in-force prohibition for non-resident or native travelers who have been in southern Africa 14 days before moving to the United States and the obligation to be vaccinated to enter.

First case of Ómicron in Argentina

The variant continues to appear in Latin America. After being detected in Chile, this Sunday the Argentine Ministry of Health confirmed that a citizen tested positive for the Omicron variant after a trip from South Africa.

This is a 38-year-old man, resident in the province of San Luis, who returned from the African country after a work event. His arrival on national soil occurred on November 30 with negative diagnoses before the trip and in the antigen test carried out at the Ezeiza International Airport.

On December 2, after learning that the people who had been at the labor event in South Africa had contracted Covid-19, he decided to test himself again and tested positive on that third occasion.

The traveler has the complete vaccination schedule and has a history of having contracted the disease last March. Since he arrived at his home address, he has been complying with the corresponding isolation without symptoms.

With EFE and local media


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