Italian town orders men and women to shop on alternate days under lockdown

Italian town orders men and women to shop on alternate days under lockdown
An all-female queue for the supermarket in Canonica d'Adda on Tuesday April 7th. Photo: AFP
Mixed-sex shopping has been banned in the small municipality of Canonica d'Adda in Italy's northern Lombardy region, under the latest local lockdown rules.

Men and women will have to shop separately from now on in the small municipality of Canonica d'Adda in Italy's northern Lombardy region, the mayor has ruled.

To lower the number of people in supermarkets and reduce the risk of coronavirus contagion, the mayor has decreed that men and women will shop on different days, in the latest example of local authorities across Italy bringing in all kinds of different rules.

“Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays you can go to the bakery,” a policewoman told a woman waiting in line outside a big supermarket on Tuesday.

“Your husband can go on the other days, however.”

Those breaking the rule face a fine of up to 400 euros ($435).

A police officer speaks to women outside a supermarket in Canonica d'Adda on Tuesday April 7th. Photo: AFP

Canonica d'Adda is not far from Bergamo, considered the worst affected area in the region of Lombardy, where more than 9,000 people have died of coronavirus – more than half of the total deaths in the country.

Canonica d'Adda's mayor, Gianmaria Ceria, said coronavirus had killed about 20 people in the comune of about 4,400 inhabitants.

The separation by sex for shopping was decided “to protect public health”, he said. “I have to guarantee public safety even if that may bring criticism.”

Some 60 million Italians have been under quarantine for over a month – in Lombardy, people have been under restrictions for even longer, with some areas considered “red zones” where movements were restricted.

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Cinzia Invernizzi, a retired woman of 62, said she had no problems with Canonica d'Adda's rule.

Still, she added, “I don't get why the men have one day more, even though 80 percent of food shopping is done by women and not by men.”

 


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