Virus: Italy tightens the screw to avoid a restart of the pandemic

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ROME | Italy announced on Tuesday new restrictive measures in public and private space intended to control the resurgence of the pandemic in a country which has counted more than 36,000 dead.

• Read also: All developments in the COVID-19 pandemic

The decree, signed by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte for 30 days, notably prohibits bars and restaurants from serving customers who are not seated after 9 p.m. local time.

It prohibits parties and celebrations outside as well as in closed places and limits the number of guests at home to six.

Italy recorded 5,901 new cases on Tuesday, a figure more seen since April, but which seems more or less stabilized and much lower than the rates of contamination observed for example in France or Spain.

“We must avoid subjecting our country to a new general confinement”, summarized Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte during a press briefing at the seat of government. The general containment imposed in the spring had indeed weighed down the activity of the third largest economy in the euro zone.

The decree was negotiated with the regions, directly responsible for health management, but the head of government did not rule out taking even more coercive measures in the future if the situation continued to deteriorate.

Contact sports between friends and school trips are also prohibited for one month. Weddings and baptisms cannot accommodate more than 30 people.

“We will not send the police to private homes, but we must adopt careful behavior to manage the current phase” and “avoid dangerous situations,” said the Prime Minister.

As of last week, wearing a mask, already widely respected, was made compulsory throughout the country, including outside.

At the same time, Italy has also relaxed its health protocol linked to the quarantine of contact cases and the isolation of positive cases.

Until now, in the event of a positive test, the rule was to impose 14 days of isolation and two negative tests at the end of this period to be able to leave it.

Now the quarantine will be ten days, including the last three without symptoms for symptomatic people, and a single negative test will be enough to establish that a person is cured.

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