Italy won on Sunday one new set of restrictions to stop the spread of the coronavirus, including the use of masks to the outdoors, the closure of gyms, pools, and cinemas, and restricted times for restaurants and cafés.
However, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, when announcing the measures, abstained from dictating another national lockdown, aware that this could further affect the economy already hit by 10 weeks of quarantine at the beginning of the pandemic.
The measures will be in effect from Monday until November 24.
According to the decree signed by Conte, children under 6 years of age and those who exercise outdoors are exempt from wearing face masks. The ski slopes are closed to everyone except professional skiers.
On Saturday, Italy passed the half-million mark for confirmed coronavirus cases for the first time since February when it was the first country in Europe to suffer the ravages of the disease.
In the last two days, the daily total of cases in Italy has approached 2,000.
Bar and restaurant owners had lobbied vigorously against the restrictions, which force them to close at 6 p.m.
Most restaurants in Italy don’t serve dinner until after 8 pm, so the restrictions would deprive you of much income.
In recent days several cities and regions in Italy imposed night curfews to prevent young people from gathering outside to drink.
On Friday, protests broke out in Naples against the curfew between 11 pm and 5 am, and on Friday ultra-right and neo-fascist elements protested in Rome against the restrictions in that city.
Conte’s decree keeps primary schools open, but at least 75% of secondary schools must teach classes online.
Authorities are concerned about a large number of people on the public transportation system, especially since schools reopened last month.
From now on it is mandatory to wear face masks in closed spaces such as public transport, shops, and supermarkets.