Italy's health minister rules out loosening of COVID-19 curbs

FILE PHOTO: A woman wearing a protective face mask walks her dog near the Roman Forum, a day before the country went back into lockdown as part of efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Rome, Italy, Jan. 4, 2021. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

ROME (Reuters) – It is not yet possible to loosen restrictions on businesses and movement aimed at curbing COVID-19 infections in Italy because of the threat of a surge in cases, Health Minister Roberto Speranza said on Wednesday.

“The epidemiological conditions do not allow us to relax the curbs,” Speranza told parliament. He added that the government planned to speed up its vaccination campaign.

In the effort to block the spread of highly contagious coronavirus variants, the government earlier this week extended a ban on non-essential travel between the country’s 20 regions.

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