Dozens of Santa Claus swapped sleighs for gondolas as they rowed along Venice’s canals on Sunday (December 19).
The cold weather kept away many residents and tourists but this did not stop the Santas taking part in the colourful Christmas regatta.
Italian newspapers reported on Sunday that the government is considering new measures to avoid a surge in COVID-19 infections during the holiday period, amid worries over the spread of the highly contagious Omicron coronavirus variant.
After holding a meeting with ministers on Dec. 23, Prime Minister Mario Draghi could impose an obligation on the vaccinated to show a negative test to access crowded places, including discos and stadiums, daily Corriere della Sera reported.
Negative tests could also be required to enter cinemas and theatres, along with wearing masks outdoors.
Under current rules, people who have been vaccinated or have recently recovered from the disease have free access to indoor seating at bars and restaurants, museums, cinemas, clubs and sporting events.
Italy, the first Western country to be hit by the COVID-19 pandemic early last year, has seen an increase new infections and deaths in recent weeks, but daily caseloads remain well below some other European countries such as Britain and Germany.