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Italian coronavirus spike caused by nightlife and holidaymakers, experts say

Rome registered over 200 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday (22nd)

A spike in coronavirus cases in Italy has been caused by nightlife events and holidaymakers, experts say.

Reported cases of COVID-19 in Italy passed 1,000 in one day for the first time in three months, since the country's rigid lockdown measures started easing.

On Saturday 22nd August, Italy's health ministry announced that 1,071 new coronavirus cases had been reported in the previous 24 hours, which is the first time the toll has surpassed 1,000 since the 12th May.

The sharp rise in cases has been put down to large gatherings caused by holidays, clubs and events, experts say, due to a large percentage of the new coronavirus infections being found in travellers at airports and ferry ports. 

Earlier in August, Italy and Spain both ordered that all nightclubs shut their doors once more, after both countries reported more than double the number of infections in a three week period, with the median age of people contracting the virus dropping below 40 for the first time.

It comes at a time when illegal raves are on the rise across Europe, as well as sanctioned, legal open air dance music events in Italy and France. The resurgence of parties both licensed and unlicensed has proven controversial, with many questioning the safety of such events, even with mask-wearing regulations and other measures in place. DJ Dave Clarke recent spoke out against DJs who chose to play these events while the pandemic rages on, saying "they have spat at the backline crew that have made them look a hero, and for what? A succesfully released sponsored post on socials talking about how they missed gigs, fucking idiots, this is not over and they have probably made this worse, on their watch, but hey great gig."

Elsewhere, France’s ban on gatherings of over 5,000 people was extended earlier this month following news that new coronavirus infections in France had almost doubled throughout July and the beginning of August.

For a new feature, DJ Mag spoke to venue owners, promoters and ravers about their hopes and fears regarding illegal raves, and other topics, in the wake of COVID-19. One interviewee, a raver, spoke about the anxiety he feels at the prospect of going back to the rave as the pandemic continues: "It could put some people at risk; it’s still transmittable," he said. Warm Up promoter Aidan Doherty also touches on this during his interview. “I’ve noticed, sadly, how divided the scene has become in some respects,” he told us. “There’s an almost 50/50 split of people who want to get back to living and doing what they love, and the other half who feel that it’s way too early to even consider this.” He adds, “People are more emotional than ever right now, which is resulting in cases of public disorder, and more and more rebellious behaviour.”


In the UK, It's been almost five months since prime minister Boris Johnson officially ordered a list of venues, which included clubs and music venues, to close their doors due to the coronavirus pandemic.

(Via: Sky News)

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