The prime minister signed a new decree on Sunday evening urging mayors to close squares and streets at 9 p.m. to prevent gatherings of people. He also imposes a maximum of six people per table in restaurants that have to close at midnight. From 6pm, restaurants are only allowed to serve seated customers. Amateur and school competitions for contact sports will be banned.
Gambling shops must close at 9pm and local markets close. The government is considering locking gyms and swimming pools as well and will decide later this week. In some hard-hit regions, such as around Naples, stricter measures are already in place. There, schools are closed for two weeks.
“We have to act and take whatever steps are necessary to avoid another blanket lockdown,” Conte said on television. “The country cannot afford another setback that could endanger the entire economy.”
Conte is under pressure from coalition partners, regional leaders and medical advisers to take action on the rising number of daily infections in recent weeks, albeit at a slower pace than France and the UK. In the past 24 hours, the country registered 11,705 new infections, according to the Ministry of Health. On Saturday, the country recorded an increase of 10,925 cases.
The number of deaths from Covid-19 was 69 on Sunday compared to 47 on Saturday. March and April saw days of more than 900 deaths at the height of the pandemic.