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Genoa limits outdoor drinking in post-Covid times

Genoa limits outdoor drinking in post-Covid times

The measure is necessary to reign in nocturnal disturbances in the old town district

Now that the summer is here and the Covid pandemic is on the retreat, the nightlife is coming back to European cities. Yet, that means that some traditional problems associated with it are also making a return.

That is why the City of Genoa is putting a ban on outdoor alcohol consumption in the public areas of the historic centre between midnight and 7 am in the morning. This is done in order to balance out the nightlife with the need for peaceful sleep on part of area residents. The measure will apply provisionally until 1 September and might be extended further on if it is deemed necessary and beneficial.

This is a kind of an experiment in orderliness

It is hard to deny that after a year and a half of undulating lockdowns and social distancing restrictions many urban residents have plenty of pent-up energy and more than an unbridled desire to let loose and party the way it was possible in the good old times. Genoa authorities, however, are of a different opinion and find that there needs to be something of a well-thought equilibrium and restraint, so they turned to what is often the cause of nighttime social disturbances – alcohol.

The ordinance is made necessary by the strong influx of people to the old town due to the gradual reopening of the city and catering services. It is seen as a tool to mitigate unpleasant phenomena such as large crowdings, fights, assaults and damage in the nightlife areas to protect the wellbeing and property of residents, merchants and all those who work on the territory of the district.

We believe that situations such as those that occurred in the historic centre in the last few nights cannot be tolerated and with this ordinance, we hope to be able to provide an additional tool to the police in order to better guard the territory,” explained councillors Paola Bordilli (Commerce) and Giorgio Viale (Security), who were instrumental in pushing for the measure.

They also said that in the period preceding the pandemic, similar measures had been adopted to counter such disturbances and these were deemed useful in stemming such situations. Failure to comply with the provision envisaged in the ordinance entails the application of a 500-euro fine for those responsible.

The measure, however, will not apply to outdoor patios and seating that are considered part of a catering establishment’s premises.

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