Italy confirmed new restrictions on Thursday to stem the spread of coronavirus during the holiday season by banning midnight mass and halting intercity movement, as the death toll saw a new peak.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said that from Dec. 21 to Jan. 6, movement between Italy’s 20 regions will only be allowed for work, medical reasons, or emergencies.
He added that intercity travel was prohibited from Christmas Day to New Year’s Day – Dec. 25 to Jan. 1 – and that the nationwide 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew will continue until Jan. 6, including 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. on New Year’s Day, and that hotels cannot have special New Year’s Eve entertainment programs.
Saying that they do not want to limit shopping, Conte said that from Dec. 4 to Jan. 6 stores can be open daily until 9 p.m.
Conte also said that after Jan. 7, some 75% of education in secondary schools will be in-person.
Italy on Thursday hit a record number of daily deaths related to coronavirus since the start of the pandemic, at 993, despite a slowdown in the contagion curve.
According to the latest Health Ministry data, the new fatalities brought the national death toll to 58,038, the second-highest in Europe after the UK.
The country also saw 23,225 new cases of the novel coronavirus, up 12% from the day before, as testing picked up the pace.
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