Italy to Tighten Lockdown Curbs in Milan to Stem Virus Spread

Italy’s government is set to tighten coronavirus restrictions in Milan and its surrounding area, as well as four other regions, in an attempt to counter an acceleration in the spread of the pandemic.

Health Minister Roberto Speranza on Friday will sign a new order listing Lombardy, Veneto and Emilia Romagna in the north, and Sicily and Calabria in the south as medium-risk “orange” zones from Jan. 10, according to a statement. This will trigger curbs including the closing of bars and restaurants, and strict limits on people's movements.

Italy to Tighten Lockdown Curbs in Milan to Stem Virus Spread

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte’s cabinet this week already extended lockdown measures imposed during the holiday season, including a ban on people leaving their home region, to mid-January. Infections in the country rose for the first time in seven weeks this week as testing picked up after public holidays.

Easing restrictions while contagion levels are still high could rapidly lead to a new pandemic peak, according to a study by Italy’s National Health Institute and other institutions. Hospitalizations for the virus also resumed their increase after weeks of decline.

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