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Italy is poised on Wednesday to impose a nationwide curfew and tougher measures for some regions as it faces a surge in coronavirus cases.
From Thursday November 5th, Italy's 60 million residents will be required to stay home from 10pm until 5am except for work or health reasons under a new
decree (official text here, in Italian) signed by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.
The new national measures include the closure of shopping centres at weekends, and the complete closure of museums and galleries.
Bars and restaurants will need to close in high-risk areas, though delivery service is allowed and takeaway is also permitted until curfew begins at 10pm.
Bars and restaurants already close at 6pm nationwide under measures introduced late last month, a move that sparked a series of small but sometimes violent
Secondary schools, which were already running most classes online, will switch to total distance learning, as will some middle school grades in areas declared “red zones”. Primary and infant schools remain open.
The number of passengers on public transport will also reportedly be cut from 80 percent to 50 percent.
People have also been asked to only use public transport if is absolutely necessary or for work.
Public agencies and private firms have been told alloe employees to work remotely as much as possible.
In addition, the country is to be divided into three areas with differing rules depending on the severity of the local situation: red (high-risk), orange (medium risk) and green (safer) zones.
People in the highest-risk zones are told to stay within their comune (city or town), and are only allowed to leave for work, study health or other essential reasons, as Italy brings in the strictest measures since its two-month spring lockdown was eased.
Official confirmation as to which regions are in which zone is expected later on Wednesday.
The health ministry will decide which regions will be classed as red, orange and green based on a number of factors, including rates of infection and occupancy of hospital beds.
The regionalised approach means Conte's government is resisting calls for a blanket nationwide lockdown approach adopted recently by countries including France, Ireland and England.