Italy ‘closes door’ on gradual reopening of stadiums amid virus threat

Italian government scientific advisors on Saturday rejected calls to gradually reopen football stadiums in Italy beyond the current level of 1,000 spectators.

Italy’s regional authorities and football clubs have been pushing for stadiums to be allowed to open up to at least 25 percent of their capacity, abiding by strict guidelines.

But the government’s Technical and Scientific Committee (CTS) believe it is too soon given the ongoing COVID-19 threat.

“The conditions are not present today,” the CTS said. “In view of the current sanitary conditions in Italy and pending the possible effects of the start of the school year, the CTS thus closes the door on a wider opening in the short term.”

Since Sunday all open air sports events in Italy have been open to a maximum of 1,000 spectators, after seven months behind closed doors.

Deputy Minister of Health Pierpaolo Sileri had said during the week he believed that “the stadiums can be brought to one third of capacity”.

“The Stadio Olimpico in Rome could also be opened to up to 25,000 fans,” Sileri said. (AFP)