Italy brings in curfew, regional lockdowns

Angelo Amante
·2-min read

Italy has registered 30,550 new coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours, the health ministry says, up from 28,244 on the prior day.

The ministry also reported 352 coronavirus-related deaths compared with 353 on Tuesday.

A total of 39,764 people have now died in Italy because of COVID-19, while 790,377 cases of the disease have been registered to date.

The Italian government on Wednesday announced a new set of anti-coronavirus measures including a countrywide curfew and tighter rules for regions with high infection rates.

The provisions apply from Thursday until December 3.

Alongside a 10pm-5am curfew, new restrictions include the closing of museums, online lessons for high school and university students and reduced passenger numbers on public transport.

But the decree signed by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte foresees additional steps for regions marked "orange" and "red," where the risk of infection is higher.

In "orange" regions, bars and restaurants will be closed and people will not be allowed to enter or leave "orange" zones or travel between cities that are in "orange" areas, although exceptions would be made for work, among other reasons.

And in "red" regions, in addition to those measures, shops are to close aside from those selling food, medicine and other essentials.

Remote learning is to be extended to include the two years before high school.

Red-category restrictions have been described as a form of "lockdown light," as they are not as strict as the regime enforced across Italy during the pandemic's first wave.

The government has not yet stated which regions would be designated "orange" and "red" but this is determined by a range of public health parameters.

The northern region of Lombardy, centred on Italy's financial capital Milan, remained the hardest hit area, reporting 7758 new cases on Wednesday against 6804 on Tuesday.

The southern Campania region was the second-worst affected, chalking up 4181 cases.