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Italy Appears to be Keeping Covid-19 Under Some Control

As cases rise in many parts of Europe Italy seems to be currently on top of the pandemic. PlanetSKI looks at the situation in Italy and considers a summer visit to the Italian Alps.

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Italy reports around 200 confirmed cases per day at the moment.

Spain has had 2,953 new daily cases.

France has added another 1,695 new cases within 24 hours – its highest number of daily coronavirus infections for more than two months.

Germany has reported 1,045 new coronavirus infections, the first daily jump above 1,000 cases in three months.

The UK had 891 new cases on Wednesday 5th August.

The Aosta Valley in the Alps in Northern Italy reports a positive summer considering the circumstances.

“The impression so far is that it is mostly domestic tourism or from the neighbouring countries of Switzerland and France, we’ll see how it evolves,” said Romina Colmar from the Aosta Valley Tourist Board to PlanetSKI.

“Many people from northern Italy have a second property in the region, and for the first time in summer all appear to be open.”

“For sure the mountain with its wide spaces is the best choice for those trying to avoid crowds and to recharge the batteries.

“Trekking, rafting, biking,horse riding, relax on the strand of a mountain lake… plenty of things to do in summer.”

Aosta Valley, Italy

Aosta Valley, Italy

Aosta Valley, Italy

Aosta Valley, Italy

Aosta Valley, Italy

Aosta Valley, Italy

Things can of course change but it is good news for Italy, the European country that was first hit by the virus with its health services overwhelmed in some places.

PlanetSKI was living in the Aosta Valley in Italy last winter and we left on March 8th as the country went into full lockdown – quickly in case the borders shut.

Leaving the Alps and heading home

Our editor, James Cove, has returned to the UK from the Alps and is in self-isolation.He left his home in Aosta on Sunday 8th March as the whole country went into lockdown.See here for more: https://www.planetski.eu/2020/03/16/planetski-leaves-the-alps-and-heads-home/

Posted by PlanetSKI.eu on Monday, 16 March 2020

We are hoping to return in the next few weeks to spend some time in the mountains if conditions continue to improve.

We will be driving.

We hope to return in the winter and have a provisional booking on our apartment and office in Aosta.

How to drive to the Alps

Aosta, Aosta Valley, Italy

Aosta, Aosta Valley, Italy

Aosta, Aosta Valley, Italy

Aosta, Aosta Valley, Italy

In Italy people need to stay one metre apart.

Face masks are required in public indoor spaces and on public transport.

People’s temperature is taken on public transport and full contact details need to be given in restaurants and bars.

Regulations include how people dance in a nightclub or sunbathe on the beach.

Special forms have to be filled in at some tourist hot spots.

The key aspect is that there is a high level of observance and enforcement.

Breaking the Covid-19 quarantine is a crime across the country with people who break the rules facing fines and jail sentences.

Memories of the horrors as the pandemic swept across areas like Lombardy are also motivating people.

There’s a feeling of collective responsibility mixed in with fear that widespread covid-19 could return.

“The effectiveness of these rules is a testament to people’s willingness and ability to follow them,”said Rosanna Tarricone, associate professor in health-care management at Bocconi University, to Bloomberg.

Aosta, Aosta Valley, Italy

Aosta, Aosta Valley, Italy

Italy is taking a tough stance across the board.

It may be suspend Ryanair flights after “repeated violations of the Covid-19 health regulations” by the budget airline, the country’s civil aviation authority has said.

It said that “Ryanair systematically does not comply” with the Italian government’s coronavirus rules.

“Not only is the obligation to distance passengers not respected, but the conditions for making an exception to that rule are also being ignored,” said the authority in a statement.

If Ryanair continued to break the rules Italy would “suspend all air transport activities at national airports, requiring the carrier to re-route all passengers already in possession of tickets”.

Ryanair rejected the accusations as “factually inaccurate” and defended its practices, which it argued are compliant with Covid-19 regulations.

Ryanair

Ryanair

One of our good friends in Aosta is Phil Brown who runs Impulse Racing.

He lives in the city year round and recently made these observations on social media after a visit to the UK.

“The Italians are notorious for ignoring rules but now they are complying. Driven by concern from 7 weeks of real lockdown (read house arrest) and fines in some areas for not wearing masks. This is helping with controlling the virus far better than the UK’s approach,” said Phil.

See here for his full comments:

Having just spent 4 weeks in the UK, I predict things will get worse soon. The poor messages from the government and the…

Posted by Phil Brown on Tuesday, 4 August 2020

So, what about the other main countries in the Alps?

Switzerland had 200 reported cases on July 30th. It was the highest since the end of April.

On Thursday August 6th there were 181 cases.  It has a population of  8.5m

Austria, with a population of almost 9m, had 130 cases on August 6th.

Italy has a population of 60.3m.

It had 384 new cases on Thursday 6th August and at the moment seems to be battling the virus well.

The main problem we see is not in Italy, but driving back through France.

There are concerns that France could be removed from the list of countries safe to visit and quarantine imposed.

It has recorded its highest number of Covid-19 cases in over two months.

Updated:

People in Italy have been warned to remain cautious as the number of coronavirus infections detected shows an “upward trend”, especially asymptomatic cases.

“Widespread transmission of the virus persists and, if conditions are favourable, can lead to significant outbreaks, often linked to the importation of cases from other countries,” said the Ministry of Health and Higher Health Institute.

402 cases were confirmed on Thursday, up from 384 on Wednesday and 190 on Tuesday.

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