Italy introduces fresh nationwide restrictions to combat covid-19 including a clampdown on parties in the home.
Italy’s premier Giuseppe Conte and health minister Roberto Speranza signed a decree containing new restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of covid-19 amid a recent spike in coronavirus cases.
The decree, signed in the early hours of 13 October, is valid for the next 30 days.
Chief among the anti-contagion measures is a clampdown on hosting private parties, indoors or outdoors, with the “strong recommendation” to avoid entertaining at home more than six relations or friends with whom you do not live.
Restaurants, bars, gelaterie and pasticerrie will have to close at midnight, with the consumption of food and drink while standing at such premises prohibited from 21.00. People are not allowed to congregate outside. Discos and nightclubs remain closed.
Civil or religious ceremonies such as weddings remain permitted, with parties of up to 30 people allowed following the ceremony, in compliance with existing covid-19 protocols.
The decree confirms the recently-introduced rules obliging people to carry a protective face mask in public at all times and the obligation to wear it in all enclosed public spaces, as well as outdoors “when in proximity to others not from the same household”.
The measure applies to everyone except children under the age of six, people with disabilities preventing them from wearing masks, and those engaged in physical exercise or sport. The decree “strongly recommends” the wearing of masks “even in private homes in the presence of non-cohabitants”.
“We want to give the message that if you receive people in your home who you do not live with, you must use a mask”, Conte told Italian media.
The playing of soccer and other contact sports at an amateur level is banned by the decree. All competitions and activities related to amateur contact sports are prohibited with the exception of amateur associations and clubs recognised by the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI) or the Italian Paralympic Committee (CIP), in compliance with the covid-19 protocols issued by the relevant sporting authorities.
The public is allowed to attend sporting events at stadiums, in much-reduced numbers, filling a maximum of 15 per cent of the arena’s total capacity, with no more than 1,000 spectators outdoors and 200 indoors. Spectators must maintain interpersonal distance of one metre and have their temperature checked at the stadium entrance.
The period of isolation at home for those who come into contact with a person that has tested positive for covid-19, as confirmed by health authorities, has been reduced from 14 days to 10 days.
Cinema, theatre and concerts
These same measures – 1,000 spectators outdoors and 200 indoors – also apply to cinemas, theatres and concert venues, with social distancing measures in place as well as temperature checks on arrival.
All school trips and educational outings have been banned. Conte and his ministers have said repeatedly that the government’s priority is to keep schools open.
Conte has also ruled out another nationwide lockdown but has said that localised lockdowns could be used if necessary.
On 9 October Italy’s daily caseload of new coronavirus cases topped 5,000 for the first time in March.
Yesterday, 12 October, Italy registered 4,619 new covid-19 cases over the previous 24 hours, according to data from the health ministry, down by 837 compared to the 5,456 cases registered the day before.
The number of deaths recorded on Monday – 39 – was up sharply from the 26 registered on Sunday.
Italy’s recent spike in covid-19 cases is, however, nowhere near the surge affecting other countries in Europe such as France, Spain and the UK.