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Italy's prime minister Giuseppe Conte has resisted growing pressure to impose a new economically-damaging national lockdown despite spiking virus cases, instead proposing a regional approach that would target the hardest-hit areas.
New measures to come in this week are to include further business closures and restrictions on travel between regions deemed “at risk”, Conte said.
While the new decree has not yet been signed into law, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte outlined the latest planned restrictions in a speech to the lower house of the Italian parliament on Monday afternoon.
“In light of last Friday's report (from the Higher Health Institute) and of the particularly critical situation in some regions, we are forced to intervene to mitigate the contagion rate with a strategy that must correspond to the different situations of the regions.”
Conte said “targeted interventions according to the risks in the various regions” would include a “ban on travel to high-risk regions, national travel limit in the evening, more distance learning, and public transport with a capacity limited to 50 percent “.
Conte later clarified that there would be a new national three-tier framework setting out the rules for regions.
The country is to be divided into three bands, with differing “scientific and objective” criteria approved by the Higher Institute of Health, he said.
The worst-affected regions, which he named as Lombardy, Calabria and Piedmont, would face the toughest restrictions however it's not clear yet what exactly they will be.