Covid, closures return: stop to cinemas, theaters and culture in some municipalities in South Tyrol

In twenty municipalities in South Tyrol, measures we thought we had forgotten forever are returning: curfews, mandatory masks almost everywhere, even outdoors, and even stops to culture, especially events, theaters and cinemas.

The axe of anti-Covid measures is back on culture in Italy as well.South Tyrol is the first area of the peninsula to follow the example ofAustria, the first country in Europe that has returned to close the doors to culture with a total lockdown that began yesterday and will last until December 12. Yesterday, the president of the Autonomous Province of Bolzano and special commissioner for the emergency, Arno Kompatscher, signed an ordinance that sends as many as 20 municipalities, some of them crucial to tourism in the South Tyrolean valleys, into widespread closures from Nov. 24 to Dec. 7: Rodengo, San Pancrazio, Caines, Vandoies, Ultimo, Martello, Castelbello Ciardes, Naz-Sciaves, Senales, Plaus, Castelrotto, Marlengo, Laion, Postal, Ortisei, Moso in Passiria, Funes, Santa Cristina Valgardena, Rasun Anterselva, and Rio di Pusteria.

So what happens from tomorrow? Meanwhile, throughout the entire territory of the Province of Bozen/Bolzano, the requirement to wear a face mask outdoors where it is not possible to maintain a constant interpersonal distance of 1 meter has been reinstated, as has the requirement to wear FFP2s from 6 years of age on public transportation. Dance activities in discos, dance halls and similar venues, both outdoor and indoor, were also suspended. Additional measures have been ordered for the above 20 municipalities, as these localities have exceeded the three parameters set out in the local health authority’s note (incidence rate of 800 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, vaccination coverage of less than 70 percent of the resident population, number of people currently positive for the virus above 5). The Province of Bolzano is actually, after Sicily, the least vaccinated territory in Italy, with 78.4 percent of people having completed the full cycle (in Sicily the figure is 77.2 percent), compared with a national average of 84.2 percent and the record of Tuscany that came in at 87.6 percent.

For the 20 municipalities, the restrictive measures we have already experienced in the past are back: curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m., mandatory FFP2 everywhere indoors, closing at 6 p.m. for restaurant activities (and maximum four people at the table), and a stop to culture: in fact, point 12 of the ordinance states that “all organized events open to the public of any nature whatsoever, including those of a cultural, recreational, sports and fair nature, held in enclosed places, whether public or private, are suspended. Rehearsals and performances of choirs and bands, as well as theatrical performances, cinema activities, conferences and similar meetings in attendance are also suspended.” From Ortisei to Santa Cristina Valgardena, from Rasun Anterselva to Castelrotto therefore closed cinemas, theaters, and in general all places where cultural events are held. The ordinance is silent on what museums will have to do instead, although the vast majority of the many museums in the area are already closed because they do not usually open during the winter season. Closures also apply to gyms and swimming pools.

In short, as fall sets in toward winter and with the first cold weather the virus returns, even measures we thought we would never see again are beginning to come back in force. Culture therefore closes from tomorrow in some municipalities in South Tyrol: one has to wonder if soon the closures will begin to spread like wildfire from Bolzano on down. For now, however, no news on the matter is leaking out.

Image: View of Ortisei. Photo

Covid, closures return: stop to cinemas, theaters and culture in some municipalities in South Tyrol
Covid, closures return: stop to cinemas, theaters and culture in some municipalities in South Tyrol

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