The explosion of Covid cases caused by the Omicron variant has pushed Lombardy into a yellow zone. And following this development, the orange zone would already be a few steps away. Update on the situation and restrictions.
After six months in a white zone, Lombardy fell back on Monday, January 3, in the yellow Covid risk zone. Under the effect of the Omicron variant (more contagious but less aggressive), the new cases identified have more than increased tenfold in one month in Lodi, Milan and Monza in particular, from an average of 874 cases per day approximately to 10,831 .
As established by the decree of the Draghi government, the transition to the yellow zone is decided according to several criteria: an incidence greater than 150 cases of coronavirus per 100,000 inhabitants, an occupation of intensive care beds greater than 10%, and 15% in benefits. Lombardy now largely meets the required conditions. Today, the incidence is 1,500 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, the occupancy rate in intensive therapy is 14.1% and 19.6% in other services.
In order to keep Lombardy as long as possible in a white zone, especially during the end of year celebrations, the region had increased the number of places available in hospitals in order to lower the occupancy rate.
But the rapid increase in the number of hospitalizations – nearly 45% more in 7 days – has caught up with the regional strategy.
The specter of downgrading in the Orange Covid risk zone
At this rate of growth, the orange zone is already shading the yellow zone. The change takes place when the threshold of 30% bed occupancy is reached. Or at an equivalent rate of increase of 45%, the threshold could be reached in 7 to 10 days.
White, yellow and orange areas: what are the differences?
The recent turn of the screw by the executive canceled the differences between the white and yellow areas. Indeed, it is compulsory to wear the mask outdoors on the whole territory. The introduction of the reinforced health step – which can only be obtained on vaccination or recovery from Covid – also erased the differences in treatment between the two areas.
In “white” as in “yellow”, from January 10, 2022, the reinforced sanitary pass (super green pass) will be necessary in public transport as in trains, in bars and restaurants, even to consume standing. In addition, it is always possible to leave your own city and region of residence. Stores and shopping centers also remain open without time limits. And nightclubs are closed in all areas until January 31, 2022.
However, the restrictions are more restrictive in the orange zone, in particular with regard to travel between municipalities and regions, with the return of self-certifications.
However, for the moment, region is not in this binding category. Eleven regions are in the yellow zone. Besides Lombardy, also on behalf of Liguria, Marche, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, the Autonomous Provinces of Trento and Bolzano and Calabria.
And the progress of the administration of the third dose of vaccine may portend a slowing of the new wave. To date, almost 34% of the Italian population has received the third dose. Considering the over 12s, 85.91% of the population is vaccinated.