Prime Minister of Italy Giuseppe Conte shot down calls to allow season ticket holders into Serie A games as ‘inopportune’ during the COVID-19 pandemic.
There are growing appeals to allow at least 1,000 supporters into stadiums, especially after Napoli, Parma and Sampdoria had similar numbers in the stands for pre-season friendlies.
They all wore masks and practiced social distancing in an open air setting, while Juventus and the Piedmont regional assembly presented a formal request to let some supporters in for the first Serie A game of the season against Sampdoria.
“As far as I am concerned, presence at a stadium or any other large gathering where close contact is inevitable, not just at the event itself, but while entering and exiting, is absolutely inopportune,” PM Conte told Il Fatto newspaper.
The number of COVID-19 cases in Italy is growing daily and considerably more widespread than when at the peak of the pandemic.
There were 11 deaths registered over the last 24 hours and 1,733 new positive cases, with 102 more people admitted to hospital with symptoms.
Having said that, the symptoms seem to be weaker than a few months ago, as out of 1,607 people in hospital, only 121 are in intensive care.
Many of the positive cases are also asymptomatic and can therefore isolate at home.
The Technical Scientific Committee (CTS) that analyses all COVID protocols in Italy is unlikely to give the all-clear to the Juventus-Sampdoria request.
“The CTS considers that in the current state of affairs, there aren’t the conditions to allow large events with spectators and the worry is also not to overload the healthcare system with different risk factors,” ISS President Silvio Brusaferro told the Corriere della Sera.
Schools are also due to reopen in Italy this month, so the concern is easing the lockdown too much will create a second wave.
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