Christmas is set to look different in Italy this year. The COVID-19 pandemic is approaching and not leaving a spot untouched. Therefore, Italy has banned the midnight mass at Christmas.
By the latest government regulations in Italy, Italians are not allowed and will not be able to attend the traditional midnight mass services on Christmas Eve or even travel freely across regions to rejoice, due to the sharp and undeniable resurgence in COVID-19 cases all over the country.
Unfortunately, Italy has been ahead of other European countries in COVID-19 fatalities in the recent week, with a record of 993 deaths in a single day on Thursday. This is why the Officials are mostly worried about the effect of holiday gatherings which could raise the number of cases as people are more exposed to being infected in these gatherings.
So, as the reports say, Italian officials are demanding Christmas Eve services to end around 8:30 p.m. local time, so residents can make it home in time for the 10 p.m. curfew. It seems that Italian bishops are supportive of the plan.
Officials are also emphasizing that Italians should not accept invitations to feasts or to share meals with family and friends as they usually do this time of year. including France and Germany, are also banning movement within their borders. Germany has gone far than that and has shut down its world-famous Christmas markets.
The Italian government brought back the lockdown plan in November and wants to limit traveling between regions from Dec. 20 since Italy has had more than 1.6 million COVID-19 cases and nearly 58,000 fatalities based on the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center reports. The country reported more than 30,000 new cases on several days in November, far higher than spring. Italy was amongst the first nations in the world to shut down the country due to COVID-19.