As Italy continues to struggle with a worsening coronavirus situation in many parts of the country, the health ministry announced the regions of Campania and Tuscany will be designated high risk “red zones”.
Three more regions, Emilia Romagna, Friuli Venezia Giulia and Marche went from being yellow to medium-risk orange zones.
Health Minister Roberto Speranza will sign an ordinance on Friday night, and the new restrictions come into force on Sunday November 15th.
The change means Italy's regions are now divided into the following categories:
Red (high risk) zones: Calabria, Campania, Tuscany Lombardy, Piedmont, Valle d'Aosta, autonomous province of Bolzano (also known as Alto Adige/South Tyrol).
Orange (medium-high risk) zones: Abruzzo, Basilicata, Liguria, Puglia, Sicily, Marche, Umbria, Emilia-Romagna, Friuli-Venezia Giulia
Yellow (moderate risk) zones: Lazio, Molise, Sardinia, Veneto, autonomous province of Trento (Trentino).
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The health ministry announced the new classifications as it revealed the latest national health data on Friday evening.
Italy recorded 40,902 new infections in the past 24 hours according to health ministry figures.
This was the highest daily number yet. Italy also carried out the highest number of tests yet, at 254,908.
There were 550 more deaths in the same period.
There are now 3,230 patients in intensive care in Italy, and more than 33,000 people are now in hospital – around the same number as during the peak of the first wave, in April.
Red zone regions are under the maximum restrictions after Italy introduced its three-tier system last week.
The government has now updated the regional system twice since it was introduced on Friday November 6th.
Tuscany was declared on orange zone on Wednesday, while Campania had been designated a yellow zone until now.
Ministers bumped up five regions from yellow to orange zone restrictions on Wednesday, after Monday's weekly monitoring report from the Ministry of Health and the Higher Health Institute (ISS).gave a worrying picture of the coronavirus situation across the country.
Veneto has declared itself “yellow plus” and, along with Emilia-Romagna and Friuli-Venezia Giulia, will introduce new regional ordinances urging residents to avoid exercising or simply strolling on the streets of their town centres.
Central Milan stands near empty after the region of Lombardy was declared a red zone on Friday November 6th. Photo: AFP
An epidemic is defined as 'out of control' “when positive cases exceed one percent of the population, and (on Wednesday) we broke through the threshold of one percent of the population currently being infected with Sars-Cov-2,” Dr Nino Cartabellotta, head of Italy’s evidence-based medicine foundation, Gimbe, told reporters on Thursday.