Italy Readies National Curfew, Movement Ban for High-Risk Zones

The Italian government is set to ban people from leaving or entering cities and towns in designated high-risk areas, according to the draft of a new decree on coronavirus restrictions.

The decree, expected to be signed by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte as early as Tuesday evening, would also impose a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew across the country, according to the draft seen by Bloomberg.

Italians in the highest-risk zones will be told to stay within their city or town and will be allowed to leave only for specific business or health reasons, according to the draft. Provisions are subject to change as the government continues to discuss details.

The newest measures would come into force on Thursday and last until Dec. 3, according to the draft. Stores deemed to be non-essential, as well as bars and restaurants, would be closed in high-risk zones. Pharmacies and all shops selling food would remain open. The government would also halt cruises by passenger ships under the Italian flag.

All school classes above sixth-grade level would move online in high-risk areas, along with high schools in the rest of the country, according to the draft.

Conte, who’s fought to avoid a new national lockdown in a bid to spare the country’s fragile economy, is drawing up the new restrictions as Italy registered 28,244 new virus cases Tuesday. The country reported 353 virus deaths, the most since early May, and patients in intensive care units surged by 203 to 2,225, the biggest jump since March.

National and regional authorities are still debating which areas should be deemed as high-risk zones. The focus has been on the Lombardy region around Milan, Piedmont, whose capital is Turin, and Calabria to the south.

— With assistance by Marco Bertacche, and Karl Maier

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