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Prime minister Giuseppe Conte will sign the new emergency decree on Thursday night. It will be in effect on Friday, December 4th until January 15th.
However, many of the rules on travel will tighten as we get closer to Christmas.
As well as banning travel between regions over the holidays, the new decree keeps ski resorts closed and requires anyone arriving in Italy from abroad over the holidays to undergo quarantine.
“The measures we’re adopting are adequate and proportional to the level of risk, without unnecessary penalization” Conte said in a press conference on Thursday night in which he announced the new measures.
“We have avoided a nationwide lockdown but now, near Christmas, we must not let our guard down,”
Quarantine and testing for arrivals
The government has also approved a law prohibiting non-essential travel between regions from December 21st until January 6th.
The rules will be even stricter on Christmas Day itself, with a ban on travelling between towns and comunes in place on December 25-26th, and on New Year's Day.
Travelling between towns and regions for non-essential reasons was already prohibited in Italian regions designated high-risk red and orange zones
Restaurants will remain closed in red and orange zones, while they can stay open for lunch in yellow areas, including on Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year's Eve and Epiphany.
The Italian government approved the new measures, in force throughout December, as it seeks to avoid a third wave of coronavirus infections as a result of festive gatherings.
“There is still a long way to go until we're out of the pandemic,” said Conte. “We must avert a third wave, which could arrive as early as January and be no less violent than the first wave.”
“Caution is essential to protect our loved ones,especially the elderly,” Conte said.
Record death toll
Conte's emergency decree announcement came just a few hours after health authorities announced that Italy had recorded its highest-ever daily death toll from Covid-19, with 993 fatalities in the last 24 hours,
The death toll has been high in recent weeks, despite a downward trend in infection rates in many parts of the country.
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The official tally on Thursday surpassed the previous grim record of 969 deaths, set on March 27th, when Italy was under national lockdown after becoming the first European country to be hit by the global pandemic.
The Covid-19 death toll in Italy now stands at 58,038.