Italy Weighs New Curbs as Cases Rise and Neighbors Lock Down
(Bloomberg) -- Italy could tighten restrictions on movement including targeted lockdowns as virus cases spiral and European peers take more stringent measures.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte wants to use next week to assess the efficacy of the most recent set of curbs before taking further decisions, government officials said. The country could go into a near-full lockdown as soon as Nov. 9 if infection figures continue spiking, according to daily Il Messaggero.
The next wave of curbs could include a new series of “red zones” in the country, ring-fencing some of the most-affected cities and their surrounding areas, one of the officials said. Milan, the country’s financial center, and Naples have been hit hardest.
Conte has sought to keep Italy out of another full national shutdown to avoid a repeat of last spring’s crippling three-month lockdown, which brought an already shaky economy to its knees. While the premier had reportedly been reluctant to see his country move to the next phase of restrictions before European peers, recent decisions by France and Germany to tighten controls may provide him with some political cover.
A cabinet meeting Friday could include discussion of further curbs, in a bid to reach a consensus on an issue that’s divided the government, with some officials including Health Minister Roberto Speranza calling for tougher moves.
Rome’s policy of allowing the country’s regional governors to take the lead on local restrictions has also complicated the situation, one official said, with the current approach creating a patchwork of laws and curbs.
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