Covid-19: Italian cities to crack down on crowds as ‘yellow weekend’ begins

Covid-19: Italian cities to crack down on crowds as 'yellow weekend' begins
Shoppers on Rome's Via del Corso on Friday, February 5th. Photo: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP
With Covid rules relaxed and mild weather forecast, authorities in Italy's major cities have announced measures intended to stop crowds forming this weekend.

.After scenes of packed streets and squares across Italy last weekend, local authorities insist they’ll do everything possible to keep crowds under control this time after measures were relaxed further.

The coming weekend is the first that most of Italy has been under ‘yellow zone’ restrictions – the most relaxed possible under Italy’s tiered system of coronavirus rules – since December.

Crowds are expected to descend on nightlife hotspots to enjoy the mild weather and increased freedoms, including being allowed to travel freely within the region,

REMINDER: What are the rules in Italy's Covid-19 'yellow zones'?

While restaurants must close from 6pm, there were crowded scenes on the main shopping streets of major cities on Friday evening.

But after Italian media published photos of crowds, parties and violence breaking out in the streets of major cities last weekend – when many areas were downgraded from red to orange zones – there are concerns that the same thing may happen again.

Milan has announced an increased number of “clearly visible” police checks in the city centre, where large crowds were reported last weekend in the Navigli area, Corso Como, Corso Garibaldi, and other parts of the city centre.

In Rome, police said they will limit crowds on the Ostia seafront and in other areas associated with nightlife in the capital including Trastevere, the ‘Tridente’ area and Piazza Bologna.

In Florence, mayor Dario Nardella signed an ordinance banning parking in central areas of the city thought to be at risk of crowding.

Anyone violating rules – from the mask requirement when in public, to opening hours for bars and restaurants – risks being fined between 400 and 1,000 euros.

In yellow zones, bars and restaurants can stay open until 6pm, including on Sundays. Takeaway service is allowed until 10pm for restaurants and until 6pm for bars.

The evening curfew remains in place from 10pm-5am across the whole country.

A ban on non-essential travel between regions remains in place, regardless of zone colour.

Cinemas, theaters, betting halls, game rooms, discos, ballrooms, concert halls, gyms, swimming pools, theme parks, spas and wellness centers remain closed.

Please note that different regions of Italy may have additional local restrictions. Check the latest rules where you are: find out how to do that here.
 
For more information please see the Italian Health Ministry's website (in English).

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