The Italian government has reportedly issued new regulations on the maximum stadium capacity for the next Serie A fixtures due to the rise of COVID-19 cases.
The stadiums will only be allowed to have 50 percent of the capacity, instead of 75 percent for the past three months. This decision will come to effect for the two upcoming games on January 6th and 9th. There has not been any update for the following fixtures since the rule will be reviewed and imposed based on the latest situation.
The Ministry of Health, Andrea Costa made a statement regarding this new rule:
"These choices were the result of a compromise, and it will be a step-by-step process. Other nations have already shuttered stadiums. We will see what happens in the next few days, but I do not foresee further restrictions.”
Such capacity limit has been imposed in several European top flight recently since the increase of Omicron variants contraction in some countries in the continent. Bundesliga and Eredivisie have opted to stage the games behind closed doors again, while Ligue 1 has granted permission to have only 5,000 people in the stadium. English Premier League is the only competition which prefers to handle the situation on a case basis and made any restrictions on fans watching matches live.
This new rules do not actually focus on the venue capacity limit but also the regulations on the health protocol for the spectators. Buying food and beverage will not be allowed, wearing FFP2 mask is a must and most importantly, only vaccinated ones and those who have healed from COVID-19 are qualified to watch the games inside the stadium.
So far, there have been eight teams suffering coronavirus cases. Napoli still have Nigerian international Victor Osimhen in the isolation. He is likely to be ruled out for African Cup of Nations this month. Meanwhile Torino, Genoa and Verona have Simone Verdi, Domenico Criscito, and Giagnicomo Magnani respectively tested positive. Not to mention the more infections in Spezia, Salernitana, Empoli and Sassuolo.
In the top tier, only Salernitana had their match delayed against Udinese whereas in second tier, the situation is worse as two rounds on December 26th and 29th have been called off. If this goes on, there would be more fixture congestion this year since the world cup 2022 will be held at the end of the year plus some international playoffs on schedule beforehand.