Italy curbs holiday travel to avoid virus ‘third wave’

ROME (AFP) – Italy yesterday announced national travel restrictions for the holidays designed to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the European country first hit by the pandemic.

The new rules, together with an existing curfew and other regulations already in place, seek to curb circulation throughout the country during the festive period by limiting the number of gatherings.

Earlier this year, a punishing lockdown of all Italy’s 60 million residents helped bring the outbreak under control, but the government is trying to avoid missteps made over the summer after the lockdown lifted, when the return of vacationers fuelled a new rise in cases.

“If we let down our guard now, the third wave is just around the corner,” Health Minister Roberto Speranza told Parliament on Wednesday.

Travel between Italy’s regions will be prohibited from December 21 through January 6, with people barred from travelling outside their own towns on December 25, 26 and January 1.