Italy Prepares For An Easter Lockdown As Covid-19 Cases Continue To Surge.
Italy is facing another lockdown as the government attempts to contain a recent surge of coronavirus cases which has been hindered by the presence of new deadlier variants.
Half of Italy’s 20 regions, which include the cities Rome, Milan and Venice, will be entering new coronavirus restrictions from Monday, March 15. The measures will be effective through April 6, according to a decree passed by Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s cabinet on Friday.
In regions demarcated as “red zones” people will be unable to leave their houses except for work or health reasons, with all non-essential shops closed. In “orange zones,” people will also be banned from leaving their town and their region — except for work or health reasons — and bars and restaurants will only be able to do delivery and take-away service.
The health ministry said that the aim of the measures is to get the R rate — the number of people that one infected person will pass the virus onto — down to 1. Additionally, over Easter weekend, the entire country will be considered a “red zone,” and will be subject to a national lockdown from April 3 to 5.
Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said new coronavirus measures are “necessary” because “we are unfortunately facing a new wave of infections” one year after the start of the pandemic.
The country’s R rate is now at 1.6 with coronavirus variants increasing the spread of the virus, according to the health ministry.
Variant B.1.1.7, which was first identified in the United Kingdom, is also now prevalent in the country, according to the health ministry, who also said that they are worried about the presence of small clusters of the Brazilian variant.
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