Italy will be under a second coronavirus lockdown for more Christmas and New Year holidays.
A Reuters report said Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced the latest ban on Friday after days of discussions on how the government could bring a new surge in cases.
“The situation is difficult across Europe. The virus is spreading everywhere, “Conte told reporters. “Our experts were seriously concerned that there would be a surge in cases during Christmas. … So we had to act, but I can assure you it wasn’t an easy decision. “
Under the new rules, non-essential shops will be closed from December 24-27, December 31-January 3. And will be closed on January 3rd. In those days, Italians would only be allowed to travel for work, health or emergency reasons. . Limited visits will be allowed – for example, to see elderly parents living alone.
Conte called on Italians to act responsibly but claimed police would not be sent to homes to see if residents complied with the rules.
Shops can open on December 28-30 and January 4 and people can leave their homes on those days. However, all bars and rest restaurants must be closed.
The BBC reports that Conte announced that the launch of the vaccination drive later this month would mark the beginning of “the end of this nightmare”.
Elsewhere in Europe, the Netherlands and Germany, there are lockdowns until January. Sweden is preparing for a lockdown after Christmas and Sweden will tighten restrictions on public transport, including the need for face masks and reducing the restaurant’s capacity.
Italy was the first Western country to be hit hard by the virus in February. As of Friday, the country’s COVID-19 death toll stood at 67,894 – the highest in Europe.
Italy Since the case began to grow again in October, there has been a ban on re-purchases and activities in Italy.
Last month, Pope Francis canceled or altered most of his Christmas activities, including a wreath-blessing ceremony on Spanish steps, traditionally marking the beginning of Advent.