Italy introduces harshest pandemic restrictions since May

Italy introduces harshest pandemic restrictions since May

Italy’s government said on Sunday it would introduce the harshest public health restrictions since the end of its first national lockdown in May as new coronavirus cases hit a fresh daily record.

Giuseppe Conte, prime minister, said that starting from Monday all bars and restaurants across the country would have to close by 6pm. Under the proposed measures, to remain in place for a month, schools and workplaces would remain open.

Mr Conte said a sharp rise in infections and threat to Italy’s health service had compelled the government to act. “The stress on the national health system has reached worrying levels,” Mr Conte said in a televised address on Sunday announcing the new measures.

Gyms, swimming pools, theatres and cinemas will also close, and Italians are “strongly recommended” not to leave their immediate areas apart from for studying, work or health reasons.