Italy to tighten curbs before Easter

Italy has approved a fresh round of tight anti-Covid restrictions nationwide, which will be implemented between March 15-April 6, including Easter Sunday and Easter Monday.

Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s cabinet passed the decree on Friday, after discussing it on Thursday night with the scientific-technical committee (CTS) counselling Italian authorities during the pandemic emergency, reports Xinhua news agency.

The provision will bring Italy back into a sort of lockdown-light, with restrictions very similar to those imposed over the Christmas-New Year period, which had allowed keeping the pandemic curve under control in January.

The three-tiered system, which divides the country into yellow, orange, and red zones — for lower, medium, and high level of contagion risk, respectively — was confirmed.

The new decree provided the whole country will turn “red” during the Easter weekend (April 3-5), thus embracing the maximum level of restrictions on business and social life.

In these days, people will be required to remain at home as much as possible, but for one single visit allowed to another private home a day by maximum two adults plus under-14 children.

Bars, restaurants, hairdressers, beauty salons and any other leisure facility will remain closed.

Ahead of Easter, and starting on Monday, the regions currently in the yellow zone will be moved up into the orange zone, regardless of their local pandemic condition.

In addition, the decree provided that any area in the country registering more than 250 cases per 100,000 inhabitants within seven days on average would be automatically declared a red zone between March 15 and April 6.

An ongoing ban on inter-regional travels due to expire on March 27 was extended, adding to the night curfew in place from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

The reopening of theatres and cinemas, scheduled on March 27, was postponed.

As of Saturday, Italy has registered 3,175,807 Covid-19 cases, with 101,564 fatalities.

Over 6.3 million people in Italy have so far been administered coronavirus vaccines, including President Sergio Mattarella, who received the first shot on Tuesday.