Italy prepares for new decree with anti-Covid measures


After breaking records of daily contagions and seeing the number of deaths caused by the new coronavirus (Sars-CoV-2) increase, the Italian government must announce a new decree between Sunday (18) and Monday (19), according to political sources after a ministerial meeting that started on Friday (16) and ended at dawn on Saturday (17).

Protester protesting restrictive measures in Naples, southern Italy

Photo: ANSA / Ansa

Among the main measures, is the incentive to the so-called “smart working”, that is, to make about 70% to 75% of workers able to perform their duties from home, making only those who go to the workplace who cannot adapt their operations. In addition, the government wants companies to make alternative work schedules to avoid large crowds in public transport.

The draft document, however, saves schools, which remain a priority to continue functioning fully. Therefore, the services and entertainment sectors, such as bars, restaurants, beauty and aesthetics salons, cinemas, theaters and gaming houses, should be more affected, which should have more restrictive rules again. Amateur sports should also be affected, with a new closure of stadiums and gyms.

One of the main targets of the decree will be what the Italians call “movida”, the happy hour after a workday.

One of the ideas is to control the opening hours of bars and restaurants at night to avoid crowds.

A national lockdown, in the models of the one that took effect between March 10 and May 1, however, is discarded at the moment. “If I look at the numbers of other countries, I see that new measures are necessary to avoid reaching that level,” Health Minister Roberto Speranza would have said during the meeting.

“The basic idea is to harden the measures with a fundamental distinction between essential and non-essential activities because we need to limit contagions. We now intervene more strongly on non-essential things to avoid having to act tomorrow against the essential things that , for the government, are represented by work and school “, added Speranza.

This Saturday, the conversation is taking place between the central government and the governors of the Italian regions. Despite Rome setting the minimum guidelines for what should be done, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, in the release of the last decree, allowed each region to decide what to do to control the progress of the disease according to the local situation.

As a result, regions such as Campania, Lombardy and Piedmont have announced tougher rules for the operation, especially of bars and restaurants that are already in place.

This Friday, for the first time since February 28, the date on which the Covid-19 pandemic numbers began to be released daily, Italy crossed the 10,000 contagion barrier in 24 hours. The “good” news is that the number of deaths from the virus is not increasing at the same rate – despite the seven-day moving average of cases showing a 126% increase compared to data from 14 days ago.

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