Italy tightens COVID-19 curbs in several regions as cases pick up

Italy’s government on Saturday ramped up restrictions in five of the country’s 20 regions in an effort to head off a rise in COVID-19 cases as scientists warned of a growing prevalence of highly contagious new variants.

Italy has established a four-tier colour-coded system (white, yellow, orange and red) which allows for measures to be calibrated according to infection levels, with assessments revised every week.

For the first time since the end of January, two regions — Basilicata and Molise — were shunted into the strictest red zone. This means bars and restaurants must be shuttered, movement severely restricted and all but essential shops closed.

Three regions moved from yellow to orange zones: Lombardy and Piedmont, which are centred on the wealthy northern cities of Milan and Turin respectively, and the central coastal region of Marche.

In these areas restaurants and bars are closed except for take-aways and people are not allowed to leave their towns except for emergencies, work and health reasons.

The island of Sardinia became the first area to be named an white district, on alone minimum limitations.

Sat conclusion means that as by Mon, as them becomes effective, 2 areas will be classified because red, 9 because orange, 8 as yellow and one as white.

About Fri the wellness ministry signalled an continued rise in infections, on twenty,499 fresh daily cases, up by nineteen,886 the daylight before. Across the last 5 days, new to cases accept increased along thirty-five% along comparison on as is period last week.

Italia as well reported 253 coronavirus-related deaths on Fri against 308 the day before. Deaths all of the time lag the rise cases.

“Many outbreaks is ascribable the (new to) variants. I’m concerned almost the progress by the epidemic. We must keep up our guard and we moldiness intervene promptly and powerfully wherever needed,” said Gianni Rezza, an senior wellness ministry advisor.

On Fri, in among his 1st decisions in managing the wellness crisis since taking office earlier these calendar month, Prime Minister Mario Draghi named Fabrizio Curcio as the new head by the Civil Protection Agency replacing Angelo Borrelli.

No reason was given as Borrelli’s remotion.

By on territorial restrictions, gyms remain closed virtually nationwide and opening hours as bars and restaurants is limited. Such curbs will almost certainly be confirmed till after Easter.

Looking for instil some optimism, Culture Minister Dario Franceschini said the government was considering reopening cinemas and theatres in low-risk yellow areas by March 27.