Italy set to impose new anti-coronavirus social curbs

Italy is set to impose new social restrictions in an effort to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, after registering some of the highest increases in the number of single-day cases, Health Minister Roberto Speranza said.

In a statement on Monday, the Minister said the new rules would include limits or a full ban on parties at home, as well as a prohibition for people to linger outside bars, clubs, and stores in order to avoid gatherings, reports Xinhua news agency.

Speranza said that the measure on private parties were aimed at stemming the virus from spreading within family circles.

According to the latest monitoring report by Italy’s National Health Institute (ISS), 77.6 per cent of the hotspots across the country “keep occurring in the domestic circle”.

A new cabinet decree containing the new rules has to be passed by October 15 at the latest, but might be delivered sooner before the deadline, according to Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.

“I have good reasons to rule out a national lockdown, but such provision at the local level might be needed if the (pandemic) curve keeps rising,” the state-run Ansa news agency quoted Conte as saying on Monday.

“We will try to approve the new decree tonight,” he added.

Other expected rules include a reduction from 14 days to 10 days in the period of isolation at home for those who got in contact with a person that has tested positive for the the disease.

Presently, Italy’s overall Covid-19 caseload stands at 359,569, with 36,205 deaths.

Since October 1, the daily increases in new cases ranged between 2,500 and 5,700, still low compared to other European countries, but enough to raise the alert to the national level.

As a result, the cabinet on October 7 reintroduced the mandatory use of face masks everywhere outdoor and indoor, when not in contact with household members, and extended the state of emergency until January 31, 2021.