Italy tightens coronavirus rules after observing a spike in infections for the last two days. amid to control the surge in Covid-19 cases.
Italian Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, while wearing a mask during a television address said, “the measures are needed to avoid a new lockdown”.
Powers are transferred to mayors close public areas after 9 pm and change the opening times of restaurants and the size of groups allowed will tighten.
The moves came as Italy recorded its highest daily infection rate for the second day in a row.
Another 11,705 new cases were announced on Sunday, beating the previous record, which came a day earlier on Saturday, of 10,925.
Italy was the European nation hardest hit at the start of the pandemic. It has now recorded 414,000 confirmed coronavirus cases. Its 36,500 deaths place it second to only the UK in Europe.
What did PM Conte say?
The prime minister, on Sunday evening, while announcing ‘Italy tightens coronavirus rules’ during a television address said, “We cannot waste time, we must put in place measures to avoid a generalised lockdown, which could severely compromise the economy. The government is here but everyone has to do their part.”
He added: “The most effective measures remain the basic precautions: mask, distance and hand hygiene. We must pay attention to situations where we let our guard down – with relatives and friends. In these situations, the maximum precaution is required.”
Measures to know about
- Under the new decree, from large festivals to local events including village sagre (local food festivals) are cancelled.
- City mayors are empowered to close off streets and squares if crowds begin to gather after 9 pm.
- Restaurants will follow the rule of six. No more than six people are allowed per single table.
- Closing time for the bars and restaurants without table service is changed from 9 pm to 6 pm. However, takeaway service and bars and restaurants with table service are allowed until midnight.
- The start of the high schools is delayed until 9 am.
- Gyms and swimming pools can stay open. Meanwhile, the administration is warned that if protocols are not followed, they may face closure.
These rules are an addition to the already existing requirement of wearing masks at public places all the time.