Good morning everyone on Tuesday 6th April. I'm happy to report that pasta is once again deemed safe after the potential link between its consumption and people catching the virus have been dismissed as nothing more than a coincidence, or possibly a complete fabrication for April 1st. I trust you all enjoyed your Easter break and it's now full steam ahead towards the summer, albeit with the brakes on.
Yesterday in Italy there were 10,680 new cases of Coronavirus reported; that's the lowest figure we've seen for a while and represents a drop on the previous Monday's figure. It should though be tempered by the fact that there were significantly fewer tests carried out to arrive at that figure and there's no doubt an element of data lag in there because of Easter.
It's almost certain that we'll see a jump in new cases later today; last Tuesday there were 16,000, so fingers crossed we see a smaller number than that to continue this steady progress. A significant milestone was reached on Friday however when the official R number dropped below 1 for the first time in a long time. It's now 0.98 and although there's still a long way to go, we are at least heading in the right direction.
Also heading in the right direction are the regions of Marche and Veneto as well as the Trentino Province, each of which have moved away from the red zone with the most severe restrictions, towards the relative pleasures of orange where you can do all sorts of things such as enter a non-essential shop and er, oh well that's pretty much it, but hey, it's all a tiny bit better.
The country is bracing itself for the return to school of some five million students tomorrow. It's been quoted that around 80% of school staff have been vaccinated and it's hoped that will keep new infections to a minimum.
A batch of 1.3 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine has arrived in Rome in the past few days and is now set to be distributed across the country. This is timed perfectly for a meeting later when yet again it will be decided if it's safe to use or not!
Rather sneaking under the metaphorical news radar is the story that the UK, Israel and Austria are on a list with around 30 other countries whose quarantine restrictions have been eased. As of today, UK citizens arriving in Italy have to quarantine for five instead of 14 days. This would be great news if it was legally possible to leave the UK but the thought was nice anyway.
Today's weather is a little bit underwhelming: there's a little bit of everything with sun, rain and cloud expected in equal measure and the temperatures somewhat lower than those of last week. Feeling the chill today will be the city of Trieste at just 3° Celsius while the people of Cagliari will read this news while basking in the relative comfort of 19° C.
Today's photos come from the seaside town of Cefalù in Sicily. This is one of the most popular resorts in Italy with its sandy beaches and crystalline waters. There are many resorts in the country that can boast those two attributes but relatively few that can also boast a UNESCO World Heritage-listed Cathedral, such as you will find in the tourism locker of Cefalù.
I'll be back with more soon.
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My name is Dion Protani, founder of Italy Review. The Italy Review blog is designed to provide ideas and inspiration to visit places in Italy you might not have heard about, as well those you have.