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Coronavirus

Italy Sets Out Guidelines for Visiting People in Nursing Homes

ROME — The Italian Health Ministry has set out guidelines for visiting people in nursing homes in the latest sign of reopening in the onetime epicenter of COVID-19 in Europe.

Health Minister Roberto Speranza signed a decree Saturday setting out a plan that, among other things, requires visitors to either be fully vaccinated, have proof of having had COVID-19 and recovered, or a negative test result in the past 48 hours.

As in other countries, Italian nursing homes and long-term residential facilities were devastated by the pandemic, especially during the first wave of infections in the spring of 2020. The total nursing home death toll isn’t known, since so many COVID-19-suspected deaths were not counted because residents were not tested.

Italy has largely reopened after its wintertime lockdown, even though it is continuing to add around 10,000 confirmed infections and around 250-300 deaths per day. The 224 deaths reported Saturday brought Italy’s confirmed toll to 122,694, second only to Britain in Europe.

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