Italy imposes partial lockdown for Christmas vacation

0
75

Italy imposes a partial lockdown for the Christmas holidays
The 96-year-old Loletta Bruschi meets her son over a plastic sheet to avoid infection with the new coronavirus in the San Michele Arcangelo nursing home in San Michele Mondovi, northern Italy, on Friday, December 18, 2020. The Italian government is considering imposing a stricter lockdown over Christmas to prevent gatherings and the resulting increase in new cases. (Marco Alpozzi / LaPresse via AP)

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced on Friday that there will be a partial lockdown nationwide for most of the Christmas holidays, citing concerns that gatherings of families and friends could restart the spread of the virus.

The new decree severely restricts movements on public holidays and weekends from December 21st through January 6th, with a slight relaxation on four days of the week. To allow for a touch of Christmas joy, personal visits to friends or family members of no more than two people are permitted on a specific day.

Conte called the borders "a painful decision".

The move comes when Lombardy, Veneto and Lazio registered a transmission rate of over 1, which means that after weeks of decline in the contagion curve, the virus is spreading again in three key regions. The national rate is 0.86, which means that the curve is flattening on average.

"The virus continues to circulate everywhere. We can bend it, but we cannot beat it," said Conte. "That is why there is a strong concern even among our experts that the contagion curve could rise over the Christmas period."

Italy was the first western country to be affected by the pandemic and recorded the highest death toll in Europe with nearly 67,900 fatalities on Friday. Conte said the start of the vaccination program on December 27 will mark the beginning of the "end of this nightmare."

  • Italy imposes a partial lockdown for the Christmas holidays
    A man in a Santa suit checks his cellphone while waiting to pose for photos at a shopping center in Rome on Friday, December 18, 2020. The Ministry of Health reported an additional 18,236 confirmed cases on Thursday, like in recent days. The government is considering imposing a stricter lockdown over Christmas to prevent gatherings and the resulting surge in new cases. (AP Photo / Gregorio Borgia)
  • Italy imposes a partial lockdown for the Christmas holidays
    Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte speaks during the press conference at Palazzo Chigi on the anti-COVID-19 rules governing the year-end holidays in Rome, Italy, Friday, December 18, 2020. (Mauro Scrobogna / LaPresse via AP)
  • Italy imposes a partial lockdown for the Christmas holidays
    Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte attends a press conference at Palazzo Chigi on the anti-COVID-19 rules governing the end of year holidays in Rome, Italy on Friday December 18, 2020. (Mauro Scrobogna / LaPresse via AP)
  • Italy imposes a partial lockdown for the Christmas holidays
    Maria Ansaldi, 89 years old, meets her daughter over a plastic sheet to avoid infection with the new coronavirus in the San Michele Arcangelo nursing home in San Michele Mondovi, northern Italy, on Friday, December 18, 2020. The Italian government is considering imposing a stricter lockdown over Christmas to prevent gatherings and the resulting increase in new cases. (Marco Alpozzi / LaPresse via AP)
  • Italy imposes a partial lockdown for the Christmas holidays
    Sister Glenda Grossi, second from right, is talking to her colleague in the COVID-19 intensive care unit of the Tor Vergata Polyclinic Hospital as she starts the morning shift on Sunday, December 13, 2020. The coronavirus pandemic has posed unprecedented challenges to families in the area The world that manages work and personal life with children stayed away from school and after-school activities. Juggling is even more complicated for the Di Giacobbe family, as mom and dad are ICU carers in the same COVID-19 unit, spending their days on tag teaming shifts to give their patients the level of personal care and attention they can want to give their own children. (AP Photo / Alessandra Tarantino)
  • Italy imposes a partial lockdown for the Christmas holidays
    Maurizio Di Giacobbe (left) and Glenda Grossi (right) decorate a Christmas tree with their children from left, Tiziano (4), Arianna (9) and Flavio (10), in their house on the outskirts of Rome, Saturday December 12th, 2020. The coronavirus pandemic has presented families around the world with unprecedented challenges managing work and personal life with children who are kept away from school and extracurricular activities. Juggling is even more complicated for the Di Giacobbe family, as mom and dad are ICU carers on the same COVID-19 unit, spending their days on tag teaming shifts to give their patients the level of personal care and attention they can want to give their own children. (AP Photo / Alessandra Tarantino)
  • Italy imposes a partial lockdown for the Christmas holidays
    Sister Maurizio di Giacobbe is helping a patient on a video call in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at Tor Vergata Polyclinic Hospital on Sunday December 13, 2020. The coronavirus pandemic has presented families around the world with unprecedented challenges to work with and to Coping with Personal Life Children kept away from school and after-school activities. Juggling is even more complicated for the Di Giacobbe family, as mom and dad are ICU carers in the same COVID-19 unit, spending their days on tag teaming shifts to give their patients the level of personal care and attention they can want to give their own children. (AP Photo / Alessandra Tarantino)

The new restrictions do not mean Christmas dinners in restaurants, as provided for in a previous decree, although takeout and delivery are allowed. To mitigate the blow to an already destroyed sector, the decree provides for aid amounting to 645 million euros.

In anticipation of the previously announced ban on movement between regions, many people have postponed their vacation trips to this weekend.

The new decree further restricts movement to the cities of residence and allows excursions during the partial embargo period only for professional, health reasons and reasons such as shopping for groceries or visiting the pharmacy. On four non-working days of the week, other shops are open until 9 p.m.

In addition, there will be a curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 p.m. for the entire duration.

Conte said the stepped-up measures are necessary "to cope with the upcoming holidays in a way that we can better protect ourselves and also given the general resumption of activities that will take place in January".

Follow the latest news on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

© 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed in any way without permission.

Quote::
Italy imposes a partial lockdown for the Christmas holidays (2020, December 19)
accessed on December 19, 2020
from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-12-italy-imposes-partial-lockdown-christmas.html

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from fair treatment for the purpose of private study or research, no
Part may be reproduced without written permission. The content is provided for informational purposes only.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here