Omikron keeps ski areas on hold +++ More Covid-19 patients in Berne hospitals

In light of the large number of people who refuse to be vaccinated and the highest rate of coronavirus in Italy, South Tyrol mountaineer Reinhold Messner worries about his homeland’s reputation as a tourist destination. “We are losing our reputation,” the 77-year-old said in an interview with dpa. “People will think if they come to us skiing when they say: ‘We are the worst in Italy.'” South Tyrol has by far been one of the most popular vacation spots for German citizens as well.

The Alpine province currently has the lowest number of fully vaccinated people in Italy (as of Tuesday evening: 68.6 percent) and at the same time at 550, the highest in seven days. This is why stricter measures are applied than anywhere else – for example, the mask requirement is also outdoors and the FFP2 mask requirement on public transport. From Monday onwards, you can only go to restaurants, bars, cinemas, theaters or fitness studios with a 2G certificate – that is, proof of vaccination or recovery.

Meissner has little hope that the stricter measures will mean former objectors can still be vaccinated against the virus. “Maybe it’s too late,” said the former MEP, the Greens, who has already been vaccinated three times. “Those who have not received vaccinations themselves, who absorb these conspiracy myths from the net, can no longer be changed.”

Messner also notes that the autonomy’s view is changing. “We, the South Tyroleans, were the symbols of Italy. We were the best economically. We were organized and kept our country clean – unlike Rome, where wild boars roam the area.” But South Tyrol is now suddenly rock bottom in stats. “And the Italians are laughing up their sleeves.”

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