[En continu] Italy keeps its ski resorts closed

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Pressure is mounting on the Federal Council, which is expected to take decisions on Wednesday. This week-end, cultural circles as economic lobbies have called for relaxations in covid measures.

The United Kingdom announced that it had reached its goal of vaccinating 15 million people by mid-February.

Find our follow-up of the day Sunday, and our virus news relations since October

■ Italy keeps its stations closed

Italy has decided to keep ski resorts closed due to the spread of variants of the coronavirus, including the variant discovered in Great Britain, the Ministry of Health announced on Sunday. They were to reopen on Monday.

Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza signed the extension of the closure of these ski resorts until March 5, according to a statement from the ministry.

Hope in Lombardy. Lombardy, in the north, announced on Wednesday the reopening from this Monday of its alpine ski facilities, the first authorization to open ski lifts in the country after weeks of closure. This decision was taken after a favorable opinion given by the panel of experts advising the Italian government. The approval was conditional on the measures taken to limit the number of people on the slopes, including a limit set on the number of ski passes on sale. In the case of Lombardy, the daily number of skiers would have been limited to 30% of the hourly capacity of the cable cars and ski lifts.

Other areas affected. Alpine skiing, AFP recalls, should then be authorized in other regions provided that they are still located in the “yellow” zone of lower risk of spreading the coronavirus. But this Sunday, due to new data from the Italian Health Agency, new restrictions were decided in Abruzzo, Liguria, Tuscany, and the Autonomous Province of Trento, which were “yellow” and become ” orange”.

The variant from Great Britain now represents 17.8% of new cases in Italy, according to statistical data from the Italian health agency.

■ Germany closes its access to Tyrol

And here is the dogged free movement. Since Sunday evening, Germany has partially closed its borders with the Czech Republic and Austrian Tyrol in an attempt to contain the spread of the very contagious variants of the coronavirus. Isolated since Wednesday by the government in Vienna, Tyrol is considered the largest European focus of the South African variant, recalls the AFP agency.

An important device of a thousand police officers is mobilized to ensure “fixed checkpoints” at the borders. The Deutsche Bahn railway company has suspended its connections with these areas.