Since October 26th all cinemas, theatres, sports halls and swimming pools have been closed in Italy, and will have to remain closed until November 24th, following new restrictions to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte explained that these measures were necessary to avoid a 2nd lockdown. Their aim: “to keep the contagion curve under control, since that’s the only way to manage the pandemic without being overwhelmed.”
The Italian film-world has protested against these restrictions. Many individual directors and film associations have sent a letter to Giuseppe Conte and the Minister of Culture, Dario Franceschini, condemning their decision. “In recent months cinemas have scrupulously applied strict protocols” according to ANICA, the Associazione Nazionale Industrie Cinematografiche Audiovisive Multimediali. These protocols have made it possible to “guarantee audience safety, transforming cinemas into places of zero contagion.” A study by the Associazione Generale Italianadello Spettacolo (AGIS) also suggests places of entertainment are among the safest. These arguments have been confirmed by the many screenings during the Venice Film Festival and the Rome Film Festival, where no cluster has been recorded despite a nation-wide increase in contamination.
These measures are in addition to the curfew imposed in the regions of Lazio, Lombardy and Campania. Piedmont and Sicily are also going to impose this restriction.
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