Italy introduces restrictions and closures

Neighbouring Italy is the latest country to reinforce strict new measures for bars, restaurants and public gatherings in a last-ditch effort to avoid a national lockdown.
“If this November we respect all these new rules we will be able to keep the epidemic curve under control… and face December, and the Christmas holidays with greater serenity,” Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte told a press conference on Sunday.
Under the new rules, effective Monday 26th October to 24th November, bars and restaurants must close at 6pm and can stay open later only for takeaway service. A maximum of four people can sit at a table together. Consuming food and drinks in public places will also be banned from 6pm.
Cinemas, theaters, swimming pools, and gyms have to close, although museums can remain open. Gatherings for weddings, baptisms and funerals are banned, as are all events and fairs. Distance learning will be applied in high schools for at least 75%  of students.
Working remotely is strongly encouraged. Home visits from people other than relatives are strongly discouraged, as is leaving home for reasons other than work, study, health and emergencies.
Italy’s worst hit regions of Lombardy, Campania and Lazio had already implemented their own tougher local restrictions in the days before Sunday’s announcement, including nighttime curfews.
In acknowledging that businesses like bars and gyms will be hit hard by the new measures, Mr Conte ensured that the government will compensate with “substantial” financial aid.
On Saturday, Italy topped the half-million mark in the total number of confirmed coronavirus infections since the start of the pandemic.
Photo of Venice, source Pixabay