Italy tightens workplace protocols as Covid indicators worsen

Italy has updated heath protocols in the workplace, as the main Covid-19 indicators in the country have worsened in recent days.

The new rules, developed by the Ministries of Labour and Social Policies and Health, will require mask use for those with specific health risks, or in cases where workplaces could increase the risk of infection, reports Xinhua news agency.

The guidelines also encourage “smart working” — working from home instead of the office — as well as staggered entrance and exit times for employees in the workplace, and in common areas such as food dispensaries and changing rooms.

The protocols, which are applicable to private workplaces, also prohibit employees with a body temperature of over 37.5 degrees Celsius from entering a workplace.

Any employee presenting flu-like symptoms is required to inform their employer in a “timely” manner.

According to a report released Thursday by the Gimbe Foundation, a health monitoring entity, the country’s weekly Covid-19 infections climbed more than 50 per cent over the seven-day period ending Tuesday, compared to a week earlier.

Based on data from the Health Ministry, the Gimbe Foundation also reported that hospitalisations due to Covid-19 climbed more than 25 per cent over the same period.

Meanwhile, the number of people in intensive care units rose by 15 per cent, and the weekly mortality rate rose by 16 per cent.

However, the main indicators still remain far below the peaks reached earlier in the pandemic.

On Thursday, Italy reported more than 83,000 new cases, down from more than 94,000 cases a day earlier.

Since the outbreak of the pandemic in early 2020, the country has registered a total of 18,523,111 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 168,353 deaths.

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