Good afternoon on Wednesday 31st March as another month draws to a close. The pandemic is still with us but as we enjoy some warmer temperatures around the country, there are growing signs that the so-called third wave of the virus is shrinking.
Yesterday in Italy there were 16,017 new cases of Covid-19 announced. That's a drop of 2,727 from the previous Monday and whilst we've been accustomed to these relative decreases of late, yesterday's was a bit more significant.
Some important pieces of information around the Italian vaccine rollout have been emerging in the last 24 hours. The Emergency Commissioner General Francesco Paolo Figliuolo has announced that 80% of Italians will be vaccinated by the end of September. This is a little less optimistic than the previous claim that every adult in the country would be vaccinated by June. Figliuolo also pointed out that the supply of vaccines in March came to around 7.5 million doses, compared to the overall figure of 14 million for the entire first quarter. He went on to say that during April the supply would rise to 8 million. Some basic maths will confirm that this is some way short of the proposed 500,000 jabs per day suggested by Prime Minister Mario Draghi last week.
The Italian government are putting the finishing touches to the new set of measures to combat the pandemic that will come into effect when the current rules end after Easter. It's expected that there will be a continuation of the colour-coded system of zones with the only modification being the removal of the yellow zone which is currently the third least severe of the four.
Something that will catch more people's attention however is the suggestion that health workers who refuse to be vaccinated against the virus, can be suspended from their jobs without pay. This is a bold move that most people who have been vaccinated would agree with, but is bound to upset the minority who are against the vaccines.
Doing the almost unthinkable and knocking the pandemic off the very top section of the Italian headlines today is a story with enormous implications for international politics. In a tale that you might expect from a Hollywood movie, two Russian nationals have been expelled from Italy after colluding with an Italian naval officer who was handing them classified military information. The UK has already taken sides in the matter, declaring its support for Italy.
Onto the weather and it's another glorious day in Italy with sunshine just about everywhere. The temperatures continue to rise with Florence reaching as high as 27° Celsius today. There are also some impressive temperatures expected in the northern cities of Milan, Brescia, Bologna and Verona, all hovering around the 23/24° C mark.
This morning I put together an article showcasing the best Gardens of Italy. I'll leave you with a few images as a taster of that and you can find the full article on the website.
Enjoy the rest of your day!
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.