‘There’s nobody out and about’: Parts of Italy back under lockdown as new restrictions come in

Swathes of Italy returned to coronavirus lockdown on Friday as the resurgent pandemic continues to sweep through Europe.

'There's nobody out and about': Parts of Italy back under lockdown as new restrictions come in
Bars in Italy's new red zones closed to customers on Thursday night. Photo: AFP

Three regions declared coronavirus “red zones” in Italy's north, and Calabria in the country's “toe”, have shuttered non-essential businesses, in measures affecting 16 million people.

A further two southern regions, Puglia and Sicily, are under less stringent “orange zone” measures.
People in the highest-risk red and orange zones are told to stay within their comune, or municipality, 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.

In red zones, restrictions on movement resemble those imposed earlier this year during a severe national lockdown, with residents' movements curtailed further.

In addition to not being allowed to travel from one municipality to another, people in red zones are not allowed to move around within their own area, unless for essential reasons, using either public or private transport.

The entire country faces a nighttime curfew from 10pm to 5am, as a raft of new rules come in under Italy's latest emergency decree.
While some businesses are allowed to remain open in the red and orange zones, including hairdressers, bookshops, and bars (for takeout service only), many of those said it was not worth doing so.
In Italy's financial and fashion capital of Milan, streets have already fallen quiet.
“My customers are very scared, very scared,” hairdresser Francesco Puccio told AFP. 
“Last week I only had two clients per day, sometimes even just one, so there's no real advantage for me in staying open. There's nobody out and about anymore, the offices are empty,” he said.
In the southern region of Puglia, under orange zone rules, many bars were closed on Friday, even though they can remain open for takeaway service under the rules.
“I don't expect to make much money with takeaway coffee. But if I close, I'm worried I won't reopen,” the owner of one bar told The Local.
He said the bar, next to the city's usually-bustling main shopping street Via Sparano, was usually “full from morning to night” but had had “no more then ten” customers on Friday morning.
Restaurants, bars and cafes can offer takeout services, but some say it's not worth opening. Photo:AFP

People across Italy have voiced anger and concern after Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced the classifications on Wednesday night,

Many wonder how regions with some of the lowest case numbers – Calabria and Valle d'Aosta – had ended up as red zones, while regions with many times more, including Campania, Lazio and Veneto were classed as only moderate risk.
Officials in red zone Lombardy – by far the worst-hit area since the start of the pandemic – said the new rules were “a slap in the face”, while the mayor of Naples in hard-hit Campania said it should not have been declared a yellow zone and stricter measures were needed.
Red zone Calabria said they would contest the government's decision.
The regional classification however isn't made on case numbers alone, but on a complex system of 21 criteria established by Italy's Higher Health Institute (ISS).
Italy on Thursday recorded some 34,500 new cases nationwide.
There were 445 deaths in the past 24 hours, and health authoriies reported that of the 220,000 tests carried out in the same period, more than ten percent came back positive.
“In recent days the situation seemed to have stabilized, even taking into account the daily variability, but today's data tells us that globally the virus is still spreading and it is necessary to stop it,” stated Gianni Rezza, Director of Prevention at the Ministry of Health, at a press conference on Thursday evening.

Member comments

  1. How long before Italy’s economy completely collapses? And why is Piemonte red when Campagnia is not? Isn’t Naples a hot spot? Why are Langhe and Roero until the same restrictions as Torino when their hospitals are not experiencing spikes in admissions? Why are government officials so blind to reality that this will kill their society? And why are teachers telling little children that if they don’t wear their masks, their nonni will die? Lots of “why’s”…and no answers. Thank you China. You have won the biological war.

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Italy reports first case of monkeypox

Italy on Thursday reported its first case of monkeypox, joining a number of other European and North American nations in detecting the disease endemic in parts of Africa.

Italy reports first case of monkeypox

Monkeypox was identified in a young adult who had recently returned from the Canary Islands, Rome’s Spallanzani Institute for infectious diseases said.

He is being treated in isolation and is in a reasonable condition, it said in a statement carried by Italian news agencies, adding that two other suspected cases were being investigated.

Alessio D’Amato, health commissioner for the Lazio region that includes Rome, confirmed on social media that it was the country’s first case, adding that the situation was being “constantly monitored”.

Cases of monkeypox have also been detected in Spain and Portugal – where more than 40 possible and verified cases have been reported – as well as Britain, Sweden, the United States and Canada.

The illness has infected thousands of people in parts of Central and Western Africa in recent years, but is rare in Europe and North Africa.

Its symptoms are similar but somewhat milder than smallpox’s: fever, headache, muscle aches, back pain, chills, exhaustion, although it also causes the lymph nodes to swell up.

Within one to three days, the patient develops a rash, often beginning on the face then spreading to other parts of the body. Although most monkeypox cases aren’t serious, studies have shown that one in ten people who contract the disease in Africa die from it.

The World Health Organization on Tuesday said it was coordinating with UK and European health officials over the new outbreaks.