Italian restaurants call for help amid COVID outbreak as deaths in Poland reach record high – EURACTIV.com

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Italian restaurant and club owners are seeking urgent government support amid the increase in cancellations caused by an increase in coronavirus infections, they said in a statement on Wednesday, while Poland reported a record number of death.

The Fipe-Confcommercio group of companies said the growing number of cases and the quarantine rules imposed on close contacts of people with COVID-19 resulted in 25% to 30% cancellations in New Year’s Eve dinner reservations. New Year.

“December… which alone accounts for 10% of restaurant revenues, is largely in jeopardy,” they said, calling on the government to extend a COVID-19 debt moratorium and a layoff compensation scheme for workers.

Daily cases have skyrocketed this week, peaking at a record 78,313 on Tuesday as the highly contagious variant of Omicron spreads.

Prime Minister Mario Draghi has tightened COVID-19 rules for the holiday period, banning concerts and outdoor events and closing nightclubs until January 31.

“Discos and clubs have literally been destroyed without warning,” Confcommercio said.

The virus is ravaging several sectors of public life, including theaters. Milan’s La Scala opera house has been forced to cancel a ballet scheduled for this week due to growing infections among the dancers.

Italy has also imposed restrictions on travelers, including those inside the European Union who must take a coronavirus test before departure, a move that has angered tour operators and hotel owners. .

Tourism Minister Massimo Garavaglia said in a statement he agreed with concerns over the layoff plan and urged the Labor Ministry to act quickly.

“The spread of the new variant risks causing social damage, as well as hurting income,” he said.

Meanwhile, Poland reported 794 COVID-related deaths on Wednesday, the highest number in the fourth wave of the pandemic, a deputy health minister said, adding that the figure could be the result of a report. delayed due to Christmas holidays.

More than 75% of those who died were not vaccinated, said Waldemar Kraska.

“I think we are currently experiencing a spike in the number of people dying,” he told private broadcaster Polsat News.

Poland has a consistently high rate of daily infections, although the Omicron variant has yet to gain a foothold there.

Poland reported 15,571 new COVID-19 infections on Wednesday, down 13% from a week ago, Kraska said. As of Tuesday, the country had only 25 confirmed cases of Omicron.

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