WORLD Italy tightens anti-coronavirus restrictions

WORLD

Italy tightens anti-coronavirus restrictions

Xinhua

09:08, October 26, 2020

People wearing face masks take a subway in Milan, Italy, Oct. 24, 2020. (Photo: Xinhua)

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced on Sunday that pubs, bars, restaurants, and ice cream shops must shut down at 6 p.m. as part of new measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

The new measures will go into effect from Sunday midnight through Nov. 24, Conte explained during a nationally televised press conference.

According to the new measures, 75 percent of high school students must follow their lessons remotely.

Movie theaters, concert halls, gyms, swimming pools, as well as gaming and betting halls, must shut down. All contact sports are suspended except for national leagues.

Also suspended for a month are conferences, trade fairs, and civil ceremonies such as weddings and funerals. Museums, however, can stay open, Conte said.

The prime minister added that the government will promote smart working in public administration and that it "strongly recommends" the private sector do the same in order to reduce crowding on public transportation.

Conte said that while the government is not imposing a curfew, "we strongly recommend that people only leave home for work or health-related reasons."

The move came after the Ministry of Health reported a surge of more than 17,000 infections and 151 fatalities on Saturday, pushing the number of currently infected people to 203,182 and the death toll to 37,210 in this country of about 60 million inhabitants.

Several of Italy's 20 regions have recently imposed night-time curfews in a bid to stop people from crowding together. They include the northern Lombardy and Piedmont regions, Lazio in central Italy, and Calabria and Campania in the south.

The tightened restrictions came as Italy and other countries such as Britain, China, Russia and the United States are racing against time to develop coronavirus vaccines.

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