Tougher socialising rules are to be introduced in Italy to combat a rise in coronavirus cases – including its own rule of six.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced on Sunday that a maximum of six people will be allowed to sit together at restaurants and bars, and table service will be mandatory after 6pm.
Other new coronavirus measures include:
- Mayors will be able to order the closure of public spaces such as streets and squares after 9pm
- Amateur team sport competitions will be stopped
- Parties, festivals and other such public events – including conferences and conventions – are suspended
- Takeaways will only be allowed up until midnight
Further COVID-19 restrictions could also be on the way, with a decision on whether to close gyms and swimming pools set to be made later this week.
High schools and universities are also going to be encouraged to carry out more distance learning, he added.
The new restrictions will come into effect at midnight local time on Sunday and last until 13 November.
Italy was added to the UK quarantine list this week after record numbers of daily cases. This means travellers returning to the UK from Italy will have to self-isolate for 14 days from 4am on 18 October.
New infections were the highest they have ever been again on Sunday, with 11,705 confirmed in the past 24 hours.
Mr Conte said in his statement: “We are aware of the economic damage generated by the measures we are taking. But the government is committed to restoring them.
“We will not fight the second wave with limited resources as in the first, we are now equipped. We produce 20 million surgical masks that we distribute daily in schools and not just free of charge. We doubled the number of ICU jobs and hired medical staff. Billions invested in healthcare.”
He described the situation as “critical” and said he could “make no predictions” about the Christmas holidays, adding: “It all depends on us and on our sense of responsibility.”