The Latest: Italy’s Sardinia to open up as infections fall

Coronavirus

Sardinia allows for evening dining and drinking at restaurants and cafes, as well as reopening after months of closure of gyms, cinemas and theaters

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ROME (AP) — While new COVID-19 cases surge in Italy’s north, the island of Sardinia has earned coveted ‘’white zone’’ status, allowing for evening dining and drinking at restaurants and cafes and the reopening after months of closure of gyms, cinemas and theaters.

Earlier this year, the Italian government added ‘’white zone’’ status to its color-coded system of restrictions on businesses and schools, with “red zone” designation carrying the strictest measures.

Starting on Monday, the region of Sardinia, with an incidence of fewer than 50 cases per 100,000 residents, will be able to allow the most liberties since a second wave of coronavirus infections last fall prompted the government to tighten restrictions nationwide after easing them during summer.

The Health Ministry report covering the third week of February shows nationwide incidence was 145 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, and several regions had far higher incidence.

The Mediterranean island of Sardinia is a popular vacation destination. Last summer, crowds at seaside discos and clubs there were cited as a factor in the climb in an explosion of cases in Italy in the last months of 2020.

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