Italy Tightens Coronavirus Restrictions in Milan, Turin Areas

Italy’s government tightened coronavirus restrictions in Milan and Turin, their surrounding areas and three other regions to counter an acceleration in the spread of the pandemic.

Health Minister Roberto Speranza signed measures decreeing that the Lombardy, Piedmont and Marche regions in northern and central Italy be classified as medium-risk “orange” zones from Monday, while the Molise and Basilicata regions become high-risk “red” zones.

The decree will trigger curbs including the closing of bars and restaurants, and strict limits on people’s movements barring them from leaving their city or town. Some of the hardest-hit regions like Basilicata have already announced that they will close schools as well, Ansa newswire reported.

Infections in Italy have started rising again because of new strains, especially the U.K. one. The decreasing average age of those infected could be a sign of variants spreading, Giovanni Rezza, head of prevention at the Health Ministry, told reporters on Friday.

Italy Health Minister Says Conditions Don’t Allow Relaxing Curb

Italy reported 20,499 new cases Friday, the highest since Jan. 1, with the number of patients in intensive-care units rising for a ninth day. ICU capacity in the country is at 24%, close to a critical level, Rezza said.

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