Home World Summer Jet-Setters Turned Sardinia Into a Virus Hot Spot

Summer Jet-Setters Turned Sardinia Into a Virus Hot Spot

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ROME — The attract of the turquoise waters, extravagant villas and unique dance golf equipment of the Emerald Coast of Sardinia proved stronger than ever in August, as Italian vacationers hungry for virus-free air mingled with regulars of the worldwide occasion circuit hopping throughout from locations just like the Spanish island of Ibiza and Mykonos within the Aegean Sea.

They joined Silvio Berlusconi, the mogul who dominated Italian politics for a quarter-century and whose Sardinian refuge is worthy of a Roman emperor; and his businessman pal Flavio Briatore, an acquaintance of President Trump, organic father to Heidi Klum’s first little one and proprietor of the island’s unapologetically hedonistic membership Billionaire.

Now Mr. Berlusconi, 83, lies in a Milan hospital with pneumonia after contracting the coronavirus. Mr. Briatore, who dropped in to pay him a go to at his Sardinian property and who had publicly complained about what he mentioned was an overreaction by the federal government to the pandemic, is quarantined in Milan with Covid-19, too.




It’s not clear when or how Mr. Berlusconi or Mr. Briatore have been contaminated. However native officers say that Billionaire and a few different golf equipment ignored well being rules and have become the petri dish of an island epidemic that contaminated soccer coaches, socialites and showgirls because it unfold to the mainland.

Mr. Briatore’s membership says that it did greater than was requested of it and blamed a sensationalist information media for leaping to conclusions.

What’s for positive is that the number of cases in Sardinia shot up from a few dozen before the summer to more than 1,000 in the space of a month and that the authorities have attributed more than 750 cases in Lazio, the region that includes Rome, to people returning from the island.

For the authorities in Sardinia, the summer realized their worst nightmare.

In March, as infections and deaths exploded in the country’s north, the southern island’s governor, Christian Solinas, pleaded with the authorities in Rome to ban travel to Sardinia because Italians, especially those with a second home there, kept arriving. The government obliged.

As a result, Sardinia essentially dodged the Covid-19 disaster. In mid-April, when Italy reached more than 170,000 total cases for the virus, Sardinia had about 1,000.

Over the ensuing months, the virus all but vanished from the island, with zero new infections on May 14. Mr. Solinas vowed to keep it that way and at the time proposed requiring a “sanitary passport,” essentially a sticker certifying a negative coronavirus test result attached to a boat or plane ticket. The government called it unconstitutional, and ultimately, tourists only had to register via an online form on the region’s website.

Still, it seemed sufficient. Mr. Solinas, using powers given by the national government, decided to reopen outdoor nightclubs, as long as people danced at a distance. On Aug. 1, the island’s cases had ticked up only slightly, to 39.

But August has been Sardinia’s hot season since the 1960s, when the Aga Khan, the spiritual leader of some 20 million Ismaili Muslims worldwide and an enthusiastic jet-setter, banded together with friends to buy miles of northeastern coastal land from herders and developed luxurious hotels, yacht and golf clubs and a village in medieval Moorish style along what became known as the Emerald Coast.

“Allow us to work,” Briatore mentioned in one other publish on Might 31. “The coronavirus gives insurance coverage for this authorities, they’re scaring everybody, and since every part has been happening since June, they begin scaring folks for September,” he added.

He additionally cited a remark made by his physician, Alberto Zangrillo, who has mentioned, “Covid clinically not exists; somebody is terrorizing the nation.” (Dr. Zangrillo later mentioned that he had been talking loosely and that he believes the virus is actual.)

Dr. Zangrillo can be the private physician of Mr. Berlusconi, who’s in a Milan hospital the place his situation is claimed to be bettering.

Mr. Briatore visited Mr. Berlusconi at his Villa Certosa on Aug. 11.

“Go to to a particular pal,” Mr. Briatore titled an Instagram post documenting the splendid seaside property. Within the publish, Mr. Briatore pays tribute, saying he discovered Mr. Berlusconi in “nice type.”

“A heartfelt thanks,” Mr. Berlusconi replied.

After making a political profession out of victimization, Mr. Berlusconi this week appeared to have discovered a once-in-a-lifetime enemy: his coronavirus an infection.

In a name on Tuesday to members of his occasion, Forza Italia, he mentioned that hoped to return to political battle and that, out of all of the hundreds of checks carried out on the Milan hospital for the reason that begin of the epidemic, “I’ve come out within the prime 5 when it comes to the energy of the virus.”

“I’m combating to beat this infernal illness,” Mr. Berlusconi added, “It’s very ugly.”

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