Whether next Christmas will be free or not: “it will depend on us,” said Health Minister Roberto Speranza last night at Che tempo che fa, on Rai1. The next 40 days that separate us to 25 December will be crucial from an epidemiological point of view, given that the contagion curve is already clearly indicating the beginning of the fourth wave with the arrival of the winter season and the time of year in which the occasions for socializing indoors. “We keep the existing rules – added Speranza – but we will evaluate”. The considerations inevitably pass for the progress of the vaccination campaign, with the step to be accelerated on the administration of the third dose, and for possible changes to the rules of the Green pass, starting with its duration. Closely related issues, especially after the latest ISS report confirmed the halving of the protection of the anti Covid vaccine six months after the second dose. A confirmation that also seems to come from the numbers of daily infections scanned by the civil protection bulletin, which only yesterday gave 7,569 infections at the nation level, with an upward trend for at least fourteen days.
The risks for mid-December
With a clearly different scenario from last year, the government’s line this year tends to exclude the use of closures. The color system remains a possible tool, but the forecasts of the experts exclude that at least until December 15 more serious areas of the yellow can return. This is confirmed by physicist Roberto Battiston, who last year identified the beginning of the new wave with extreme precision: “Until mid-December – he told the National newspaper – most regions will remain white. In the hospital we will have similar numbers between vaccinated and unvaccinated, but with much greater risks for the No vax “. The push to expand vaccination coverage cannot therefore stop, both for the first doses that are still missing, and for the third ones, which from 1 December will also affect Italians between 40 and 59 years of age. The goal, reports the Corriere della Sera, is to broaden the dose booster to all, at least since the beginning of 2022. Provided that the data does not deteriorate further, which could anticipate the campaign for the over 12s.
The news on the certificate
In the meantime, a crackdown on the Green pass could arrive, at least on the duration that risks being reduced towards a more homogeneous period between scientific and more political indications. It was Minister Speranza himself who anticipated possible news last November 10 in the Chamber. The orientation today would be to reduce the validity of the Green pass from 12 to 9 months – difficult to go down to six months – and with possible variations on the access rules. On the one hand, the government hopes to continue the “gentle push” to vaccinate for third doses, on the other hand it does not exclude the hypothesis of no longer taking into account the rapid tests for obtaining the green certificate, at least for recreational activities and not essential. So the work pass shouldn’t change. Alternatively, the validity of the swabs in a Green pass key could be reduced: it would therefore pass to 48 hours for the molecular test, and to 24 for the antigenic ones.
Possible local lockdowns
New rules on the color system would not be on the horizon, at least according to what Palazzo Chigi has reiterated up to two days. The mechanism as it is already foresees that, with the yellow zone, the first limitations such as the reduced number of seats for sporting and cultural events, as well as the restaurant, are triggered. But in the event that there were situations that tend to be worrying, the ball would pass into the hands of governors and mayors, who already today have the possibility of imposing more restrictive measures than those established by Rome. Local closures, up to well-defined red areas, remain a viable hypothesis especially for areas of the country that have to deal with the worsening of the pandemic beyond their borders. This is the case, for example, of Friuli Venezia Giulia, caught between the surge in infections in Slovenia and with Austria struggling with the lockdown for the unvaccinated. In the region led by Massimiliano Fedriga, both hospitalizations in the medical area and in intensive care are 11 per cent, with Trieste and Gorizia exceeding 150 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. Data starting to color the region yellow in a short time and which may require further restrictions. As happens in 66 provinces which so far have 50 cases per 100 thousand inhabitants, but with hospitals still under the alert thresholds.