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WEDDINGS

Planning a wedding in Italy this year? ‘Be patient’, says PM

Those hoping to get married in Italy this year will get an update after a key government meeting on Monday May 17th, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi has promised.

Planning a wedding in Italy this year? 'Be patient', says PM
Couples hoping to tie the knot are still waiting to hear if their wedding can go ahead in Italy. Photo: Foto Pettine / Unsplash

Waiting for news on whether weddings can go ahead has caused much frustration to people hoping to walk down the aisle in Italy this year.

Many couples have already postponed from 2020 and some are unsure whether they’ll have to push back their big day another year, as the Italian government hasn’t yet approved any new Covid-related guidelines for wedding ceremonies or receptions.

READ ALSO: ‘We’re exhausted’: What it’s like planning a wedding in Italy during the pandemic

Although there are still no firm decisions, Draghi has indicated that an announcement will be made next week.

“Celebration is something we all want, but it is essential to have a little more patience to prevent a joyous occasion from turning into a risk for those taking part,” he told parliament during prime minister’s question time on Wednesday evening.

Weddings will be discussed at the next steering committee on Monday 17th May, he promised, when the government will look at how to “give greater certainty” to the sector.

The government has earmarked €200 million from the current Support Decree (Decreto Sostegni) to help an industry significantly affected by the pandemic, according to Draghi.

“The government is careful to balance the economy with health, and weddings, as occasions for gatherings, can foster infections. We need to take a gradual approach based on epidemiological trends,” he cautioned.

Distanced and in masks: Italian weddings in times of Covid look like this. Photo by Miguel MEDINA / AFP

At the moment, wedding receptions – indoor or outdoor – are not allowed.

Both civil and religious wedding ceremonies are permitted, although with restrictions in place including a limit on the number of guests at venues, distancing, and mandatory mask-wearing.

And the maximum number of attendees allowed at wedding ceremonies currently depends on the venue and on local rules where you get married.

This is likely to continue to be the case, no matter what the government decides the wedding protocol will be for 2021.

READ ALSO: 

Waiting to hear whether weddings can go ahead are also tied up with possible changes to Italy’s travel rules this summer. For international couples with wedding guests trying to organise flights and hotels, this is proving an added headache.

The Italian government said in early May that it would allow tourism to restart from mid-May using a new ‘green pass’ for vaccinated or tested travellers, including those from outside the EU.

But no firm date has been given, and ministers have since indicated that visitors from the EU, UK or Israel would be allowed back without quarantine first while other countries would have to wait until June.

For more information on the current restrictions see the Italian Health Ministry’s website (in English).

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TRAVEL NEWS

Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

The mandatory EU-wide mask requirement for air travel is set to be dropped from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still require passengers to wear masks on some or all flights

Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

Europe-wide facemask rules on flights are set to be ditched as early as next week in light of new recommendations from health and air safety experts.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) dropped recommendations for mandatory mask-wearing in airports and during flights in updated Covid-19 safety measures for travel issued on Wednesday, May 11th.

The new rules are expected to be rolled out from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still continue to require the wearing of masks on some or all of flights. And the updated health safety measures still say that wearing a face mask remains one of the best ways to protect against the transmission of the virus.

The joint EASA/ECDC statement reminded travellers that masks may still be required on flights to destinations in certain countries that still require the wearing of masks on public transport and in transport hubs.

It also recommends that vulnerable passengers should continue to wear a face mask regardless of the rules, ideally an FFP2/N95/KN95 type mask which offers a higher level of protection than a standard surgical mask.

“From next week, face masks will no longer need to be mandatory in air travel in all cases, broadly aligning with the changing requirements of national authorities across Europe for public transport,” EASA executive director Patrick Ky said in the statement. 

“For passengers and air crews, this is a big step forward in the normalisation of air travel. Passengers should however behave responsibly and respect the choices of others around them. And a passenger who is coughing and sneezing should strongly consider wearing a face mask, for the reassurance of those seated nearby.”  

ECDC director Andrea Ammon added: “The development and continuous updates to the Aviation Health Safety Protocol in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic have given travellers and aviation personnel better knowledge of the risks of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and its variants. 

“While risks do remain, we have seen that non-pharmaceutical interventions and vaccines have allowed our lives to begin to return to normal. 

“While mandatory mask-wearing in all situations is no longer recommended, it is important to be mindful that together with physical distancing and good hand hygiene it is one of the best methods of reducing transmission. 

“The rules and requirements of departure and destination states should be respected and applied consistently, and travel operators should take care to inform passengers of any required measures in a timely manner.”

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