Italy placed on Friday a partial lockdown public for most of the Christmas holiday season in an attempt to curb a rise in COVID-19 cases.
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte called the restrictions a ”painful decision”, citing concerns that groups of families and friends could re-ignite the virus’s range.
“The virus continues to walk here. We can bend it, but we cannot defeat it,” Conte said. “This is why even with our authorities, there is a strong concern that the transmission curve could surge during the Christmas period.”
What’s the context?
The move comes as Lombardy, Veneto and Lazio recorded a rate of transmission of over 1, indicating the virus is again spreading in three key regions after weeks of reduction in the contagion curve.
Italy was the first Occidental country hit by the pandemic, and also has recorded the highest death toll in Europe, reaching nearly 67,900 on Friday.
What are the new rules?
The new decree puts strict deadlines on movements on holidays and weekends from December 21 through the January 6 Epiphany holiday, with a slight easing on four weekdays.
The Covid 19 pandemic has obstructed international trade and economic relations. With the “new normal” we are already noticing changes taking place.
To allow a glimmer of Christmas approval, personal visits to friends or family features of no more than two people are supported on any given day.
The new limitations will mean no Christmas lunches in demonstrations, as had been foreseen in a previous decree, although take-out and deliveries are allowed. To lower the blow to a sector already devastated, the decree includes 645 million euros in aid.
The decree allows trips only for work, health reasons, and poverty like grocery buying or going to science. On four non-holiday weekdays, other markets will be open for trade until 9 p.m. In addition, a 10 p.m.-5 a.m. curfew will remain in place throughout the duration.