Italy's news in English
Italy’s Sicily and Sardinia to remain Covid ‘white’ zones despite rise in hospitalisations
Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP
The Local Italy
news@thelocal.it
@thelocalitaly
20 August 2021
11:06 CEST

The island regions of Sardinia and Sicily were expected to be placed under ‘yellow’ zone restrictions from Monday after new infections soared and they met the threshold for hospitalised Covid patients.
Health agency Agenas had said earlier on Thursday that the numbers reported in both regions were high enough to warrant a move to the yellow zone.
Infection rates have spiked in recent weeks on the popular holiday islands, with many outbreaks blamed on partying holidaymakers from Italy and abroad.
But both islands will stay in the lowest-risk ‘white’ zone, and no regions will change colour this week, according to the weekly report from the Higher Health Institute (ISS) and the health ministry.
READ ALSO: How Italy plans to avoid tightening Covid restrictions this summer despite rising cases
Sicily has presented data that show it can stay in the white zone, the report said, adding that hospital admission and ICU occupancy rates are “steady”, despite being high.
Every region has been ‘white’ under Italy’s four-tiered system of restrictions since the end of June.
Having ‘yellow zone’ restrictions reimposed would, among other rules, mean a return to wearing a face mask in all public places, both indoors and outdoors, and the return of limits on restaurant opening hours and group sizes at tables.
As several regions risked a yellow zone classification in July due to sharply rising infection rates, the Italian government responded by changing the parameters of the zones, making it more difficult for a region to change from white to yellow.
Under the new parameters, a region becomes a yellow zone if the following thresholds are reached at the same time:
Sicily has now reached all three limits, while Sardinia has met two, according to data from Agenas.
Sardinia now has the highest incidence of weekly cases per 100,000 inhabitants of any Italian region, reaching 147. Sicily’s number is 140.
Sicily has a 10% occupancy rate for intensive care, at the upper limit of the threshold, while its hospital admission rate is 17%.
Sardinia has an ICU occupancy rate of 9% and a general hospital admissions rate of 10%.
Reader question: What happens if I test positive for Covid-19 while visiting Italy?
While Sardinia’s authorities had promised to increase health checks on tourists and enforce mandatory testing on arrival this summer, controls have reportedly been lowered instead as the island’s services were diverted to fighting wildfires all across the region.
Meanwhile some of Sicily’s smaller islands have placed new curbs on nightlife and day trips after illegal parties and crowding was blamed for a surge in new cases locally.
18 regions remain classified as moderate risk for Covid-19, marking a worsening trend for infection rates and hospitalisations
The remaining three regions, Lombardy, Veneto and Lazio, are classified as low risk.
After a spike last week in the nationwide average Rt number, which shows the rate of new infections, the rate has gone back down again on Friday – from 1.7 to 1.1.
There is a “high proportion of young and asymptomatic subjects,” which must be monitored, the health ministry report said.
“The current impact of the disease on hospital services is limited,” it reads, “however the occupation rates and the number of people hospitalised in the medical and intensive care areas are on the rise. The estimated transmissibility on hospitalized cases alone is above the epidemic threshold”.
There were 7,260 new positive cases recorded in Italy over the last 24 hours, according to data from the Ministry of Health, and 55 deaths.
For further details on the current coronavirus situation in Italy, see the Health Ministry’s website (in English).
Share this article
Member comments
The Local is not responsible for content posted by users.
Brad  -  20 August 2021 at 23:49 CEST
Good news. Stay white.
Become a Member to leave a comment.Or log in here.
Related articles
FOR MEMBERS
Q&A: How will Italy’s new six-month Covid vaccine pass validity work?
Four more Italian regions in Covid ‘orange’ risk zone from Monday
Italy confirms most shops require Covid green pass from February 1st
Italy tightens Covid green pass requirements for hairdressers and shops
Italian hotel bars US actor Malkovich for expired Covid vaccine pass
Italy set to make Covid green pass mandatory for entry to ‘non-essential’ shops
At a glance: What Covid-19 rules are now in place in Italy?
Italy to ‘reconsider’ tiered system of Covid risk zones
More news
FOR MEMBERS
Q&A: How will Italy’s new six-month Covid vaccine pass validity work?
Four more Italian regions in Covid ‘orange’ risk zone from Monday
Italy confirms most shops require Covid green pass from February 1st
Italy tightens Covid green pass requirements for hairdressers and shops
Italian hotel bars US actor Malkovich for expired Covid vaccine pass
Italy set to make Covid green pass mandatory for entry to ‘non-essential’ shops
At a glance: What Covid-19 rules are now in place in Italy?
Italy to ‘reconsider’ tiered system of Covid risk zones
Related articles
Q&A: How will Italy’s new six-month Covid vaccine pass validity work?
Four more Italian regions in Covid ‘orange’ risk zone from Monday
Italy confirms most shops require Covid green pass from February 1st
Italy tightens Covid green pass requirements for hairdressers and shops
Italian hotel bars US actor Malkovich for expired Covid vaccine pass
The Local Europe AB
Vasagatan 10
111 20 Stockholm
Sweden
Privacy