I amOn Sunday, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced new restrictions to combat the Coronavirus on bars, restaurants and public gatherings, in a move aimed at stemming a spike in infections and avoiding a new nationwide lockdown.
Under the new rules, gyms, swimming pools, cinemas and theaters will be closed, while bars and restaurants will be required to close at 6 PM local time, including Sundays.
The new decree, signed after nightly negotiations with regional governors, will take effect tomorrow through November 24.
“We need to do everything we can to protect our health and our economy and avoid a second year lockdown,” Conte told a news conference on Sunday.
He added, “If we respect the rules in November, we will succeed in keeping the contagion curve under control and we can ease the measures to face December and Christmas with more calm.”
On Saturday, Italy topped the half-million mark in the number of confirmed cases of the Coronavirus, with new daily cases increasing by about 20 thousand.
The new decree does not encourage movement across regions, if not for strict health or work reasons, but does not impose any restrictions.
Secondary schools will have to provide up to 75 percent of teaching through online education, but specific actions will be taken at the local level.
Conte acknowledged that the new rules would hit some classes of businesses hard, but promised that the government would compensate them with “substantial” financial aid.
Giada Zampano reports.
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