Italy announces new national virus restrictions

ROME (AP) — Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte has announced new national restrictions aimed at halting the increase of coronavirus cases, including closing shopping malls on the weekends, shuttering museums and limiting movements between regions.

Conte outlined the new measures to lawmakers yesterday, ahead of a new decree expected soon. He said shopping malls will be closed on weekends, except for food stores, newsstands and pharmacies. He also announced the closure of entertainment centres.

He added that there will be a “late evening” curfew, but without providing a time. Currently only some regions, including Lazio where Rome is located, have a curfew.

He also said high schools, which are currently on three-quarter distance learning, can go on full-time distance learning in a bid to help alleviate pressure on public transport.

Conte told lawmakers on that one big difference this time – compared to measures during the virus’ last peak in March – is that some measures will vary by region, depending on how critical the virus’ spread is and pressure on hospitals.

A man looks at a closed shop near the Spanish Steps in Rome. PHOTO: AFP