Friday, January 21, 2022

year 3 with covid19

Dear amici, 

happy 2022! This post is for all of you who are wondering where Italy is now and what the situation is like as we have entered our 3rd year of this pandemic.

Piazza Carignano and Luci d'Artista

Well, despite some Italian regions' hesitations, schools resumed regularly on January 10th and after two weeks of classes the Italian ministry of education states that everything is fine but over half of our k-12 classes are long distance due to the infections, the covid19 testing protocols that have engorged the regional healthcare websites. Also many teachers are isolating, quarantining and in some schools, principals can find any substitute teachers.

Like most of the EU, Italy has been on the dark red covid19 map for three weeks now but our high hospitalization numbers are still due to the delta variant, even though from the wastewater we know omicron is now wide spread. 

At this stage Italy is among the highest vaccinated countries in the world with the booster campaign still going on because we do have doses but, like in many other places around the world, we are lacking the medical professionals and the hubs to vaccinate everyone 6 and older.

As most of the infections are asymptomatic, our hospitals are still holding on but the medical professionals who have retired, died or quit haven't been fully replaced, same situation in the Italian public schools.

If you haven't heard about it yet, the Italian government has declared war to the anti-vaxxers by imposing draconian restrictions that prevent people who haven't received the two doses + the booster from accessing public transit, gyms, theaters, shopping malls, any public event, coffee shops, restaurants even outdoors, hairdressers or barbershops and a 100e fine too.

Basically, every effort is being made to push people to vaccinate, 'to keep the hospitals open for all non-covid19 procedures, the testing system and quarantine protocols - that depend on the national healthcare service - not overwhelmed and above all, the economy going'.
But ... in a couple of weeks we are expecting big changes following the new strategy of Israel, the UK and France where masks and working from home won't be a requirement anymore starting next week.

It isn't really easy to know exactly what's happening in Italy in the detail as the newspapers are reporting contradictory titles. We know that 27% of Italians have been boosted and 87% got 2 doses but most of the 6% of the people who refused the vaccine are still resisting our government restrictions.

It will definitely be interesting to see how the situation will change in a month due to the new epidemiological approach and politicies adopted around the world.

Via Pietro Micca and its arcades

As Turin is preparing to host the Eurovision in May and everything is still pretty much in the air, the local administration has decided to host this 66th edition in an open square to allow as many people as possible and to contain the spread of infections.

As of January 20th our RT is around 17%, people are still very cautious and worried; the no-vax are still demonstrating every Saturday afternoon, but despite the seasonal sales, our shops aren't crowded and everyone is masked up. Many businesses had to closed temporarily due to the covid19 protocols and eateries have already lost 50% of their income in 2022.

Turin is the chocolate capital

So, if you have been planning a trip to Italy and are wondering if you should go ahead or not, consider that the summer should be ok as the infections will go down because we all take advantage of our piazzas and will be spending as much time as possible outdoors.

For the spring though nobody can make any predictions yet and we don't know yet about the 4th shot - if and who will receive it - but in general, keep in mind Italy is a very safe country, with one of the highest vaccination rates in the world and an efficient national healthcare system.

Palazzo Carpano: first vermouth factory in 1786, the king made it his drink

As always, we recommend you monitor the situation through the Italian embassy or consulate websites at home; check the travel requirements daily as you departure date is coming up, and to purchase a travel health insurance that covers covid19 emergencies. Better safe than sorry, right?

Please click here to read about the Italian healthcare system and great pharmacies.

We feel Italy is one of the safest destinations and are ready to welcome you, especially here in Turin and Piedmont where even only visiting our artisans' shops is an amazing experience.

Mardi Gras or Carinval fritters

Chocolate and coffee, baked goods, wine, cheese, pasta and cured meats are all things you can sample in all safety outdoors too, and that give you a deep insight on our local culture. In addition, to keep us warm, all the coffee shops and restaurants with an outdoor area have patio heaters till mid spring.

So, keep an eye on our @turinepi online accounts, check the travel advisories and alerts on the department of state / foreign office at home; in case, inquire with your the embassy / consulate here in Italy and with the Italian embassy / consulate in your home country.

If you can read and/or understand Italian, check out the Italian online news outlets too.

Keep visualizing yourselves here amici!

If you can see it in your mind, it can happen!

For tours and privates e-mail Lucia:

1 comment:

  1. Hi Lucia, Sounds so much like what we're all experiencing. I never thought it would last this long. I'm glad Italy is posing strict regulations. Hopefully more people will get the vaccine! ciao!