Italy slides in Easter lockdown to curb pandemic

Photo: EPA

Italy is spending Easter holidays in lockdown after the government marked the whole country as Covid-19 red zone from Saturday to Monday in order to curb social interaction fuelling the pandemic, ANSA reported.

The measures mean shops selling of non-essential items must stop, bars and restaurants can only do takeaways and home deliveries, people need a good reason to be outside the home. It will be possible, however, for up to two adults and their children under 14 to visit the home of another person, with no more than one visit a day, and to attend religious services. The interior ministry told Italy's prefects to intensify checks on the respect of restrictions over Easter. Churches are also open, but worshippers are being told to attend services within their own regions.

For the second year, Pope Francis delivers his Easter messages to an empty St Peter's Square. Police have been told to focus checks on people who are travelling and to pay special attention to areas ikely to attract groups of people, such as parks and beaches.

Italy's nationwide Covid-19 reproduction number has dropped to 0.98, below the alarm level of 1 and down from 1.08 last week, according to a draft of the weekly coronavirus monitoring report of the health ministry and the Higher Heath Institute. More than 110,328 people in total have died of the coronavirus in Italy, BBC elaborated. There have been 3.6 million confirmed infections.

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