The Italian government has announced its third emergency decree in two weeks as the coronavirus situation continues to worsen across the country.
Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte tightened nationwide coronavirus restrictions Sunday after the country recorded a record number of new cases, despite opposition from regional leaders.
Cinemas, theatres, gyms and swimming pools must all close under the new rules, which will come into force on Monday, while restaurants and bars will have to stop serving at 6pm, the prime minister’s office said.
After the last two decrees were signed on October 13th and 18th, health experts and local politicians continued to urge the government to enforce far stricter measures in view of the sharply rising contagion curve, and warned that tracing and testing was no longer enough to control the surge in Italy’s biggest cities
Italy recorded a further 19,644 new infections on Saturday and 151 deaths.
Prime Minister Conte has insisted that Italy does not need to resort to another nationwide lockdown of the kind it imposed in spring, which shuttered schools and businesses and kept the public almost entirely confined to their homes.
However Italy’s worst-hit regions of Lombardy, Campania and Lazio have in recent days implemented their own tougher local measures, including nighttime curfews.
Piedmont in the north and Sicily in the south will follow this week.
The prime minister is to announce further details of the new measures on Sunday afternoon. Here is a summary of the most important points expected to be included:
Restricted opening for restaurants
Bars, restaurants and other food businesses will have to close at 6pm on weekends and potentially on weekends.
Takeaway and home delivery would still be allowed.
Many regional leaders have reportedly objected to this measure due to the financial cost, however the government is set to go ahead and enforce it nationwide.
Gyms, pools, cinemas to close
“The activities of games rooms, betting shops, bingo halls and casinos are suspended. Shows open to the public in theatres, concert halls, cinemas and other open spaces are also suspended”, the draft of the latest decree states.
In addition, gyms and swimming pools must all close, the prime minister’s office stated on Sunday morning.
Recommendation not to leave your comune
The provisional decree text states: “it is strongly recommended that all persons do not travel, by public or private means of transport, to a municipality other than that of residence, domicile or home, except for proven work, study, or health reasons, for situations of need, or to carry out activities or use services that are not suspended and not available in that municipality.”
The government has also reportedly discussed reintroducing the previous ban on non-essential travel between regions, though this was not included in the draft.
More online learning for high school students
Nursery schools, elementary and middle schools are expected to continue lessons with students in attendance.
High schools across the country will be required to teach at least 75 percent of lessons online, as the latest decree aims to standardize various regional ordinances.