The Prime Minister of Italy, one of the countries most affected by the coronavirus pandemic, announced Friday evening a lockdown for the end of year celebrations from December 21 to January 6.
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During this period, it will be prohibited to travel from one region to another, including to go to a second home, except for health or professional reasons.
The retail business, including bars and restaurants, will be closed.
In theory, only one outing per household and per day will be tolerated. Religious celebrations will be authorized until 10 p.m. “Our experts fear that the contagion curve will increase during the Christmas period”, explained Giuseppe Conte after a council of ministers.
The chief executive conceded that the authorities had neither the means nor the will to monitor compliance with home containment measures, but he asked the Italians to respect the limit of two adult guests.
Food shops, but also hairdressing salons, pharmacies, tobacconists and laundries (as well as bookstores) will however remain open.
“We can talk about a red zone,” said Giuseppe Conte, specifying that the confinement would be lightened on December 28, 29, 30 as well as on January 4. On these days the shops will be accessible until 9 p.m., and it will be possible to move without justification.
Italy has 60 million inhabitants and has one of the oldest populations in Europe.