No parties, curfews on restaurants: Italy tightens virus measures
The Italian government is tightening measures against the spread of the novel coronavirus, with bans on private parties and a curfew for bars and restaurants.
Eating and drinking establishments will have to close at midnight, and people will no longer be allowed to huddle outside their premises from 9 pm.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte signed a decree containing the new measures overnight, the national news agency ANSA reported. The document was not yet made public, according to Deutsche press agency (dpa).
According to reports, it limits attendance numbers at ceremonies like weddings, baptisms and funerals to 30 and recommends mask-wearing even at home when friends or relatives visit.
The government is also urging citizens to refrain from all dinners and other meetings with more than six non-household members at home, and has banned all school trips, ANSA said.
The new rules are to apply for 30 days.
In a separate move, the Health Ministry on Monday lowered most coronavirus quarantine and isolation periods from 14 to 10 days, a day after experts backed the move.
Until October 1, Italy's coronavirus caseload remained under 2,000 per day, but numbers have since spiralled upwards and went beyond 5,700 on Saturday, a near record.
On Monday, the figure fell to 4,619, but post-weekend infection figures always tend to be lower due to reduced testing capacity on Saturdays and Sundays.
With the latest update, Italy's total infections count reached 359,569, and overall death toll from the pandemic increased by 39, hitting 36,205.