Italy’s toughens Covid pass rules; Russia confirms 1st Omicron cases

Madrid Desk, Dec 6 (EFE).- Italy on Monday strengthened its coronavirus containment measures with the new “super green” health pass, which further restricts access to activities for people who have not been vaccinated against Covid-19, in addition to increasing controls on public transport and shopping areas ahead of Christmas.

The new certificate, which is available to people who have been vaccinated or have recovered from Covid, will be required to enter bars, restaurants, cinemas and theaters, as well as sporting events, nightclubs, parties and public ceremonies, until at least January 15.

The regular health pass, which can also include a recent negative antigen test, will be compulsory for work and to access public transport, museums and shopping areas, except at weekends, when the new pass will be required.

The national police, carabinieri (militarized police) and the personnel of local public transport management bodies will be in charge of requesting the health certificate from metro and bus passengers for ages 12 and over.

Access to bars, restaurants and other places of entertainment will be controlled by local police officers, who can administer fines of between 400 and 1,000 euros to whoever does not have the required certificate.

In neighboring France, authorities reported over 50,000 cases for the first time since April.

Cases across the continent have been increasing in recent weeks, and there are fears that the new Omicron variant could lead to a further spike in infection rates.

Russia confirmed Monday its first two cases of the Omicron variant of Covid-19, which were detected in travelers from South Africa, according to the country’s health regulator.

Along with a host of other European countries, Russia restricted travel with southern African countries at the end of November due to the appearance of the new variant, which the World Health Organization has described as “of concern”.

Russia has also imposed a 14-day quarantine on travelers from countries in southern Africa to prevent the spread of the new variant, Russia’s chief health official Anna Popova said last week.

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