Coronavirus: Italy bans Christmas travel between regions

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BBC.COM-image copyright Getty Images

image caption A travel ban between different regions will be in place from 21 December to 6 January

Italy is banning travel between its regions from 21 December to 6 January as part of strict coronavirus curbs over the Christmas holidays.

A curfew from 22:00 to 05:00 will also be in place.

Restaurants can open in some regions until 18:00 but only takeaways are allowed in other parts of the country. Ski slopes must close until 7 January.

It comes as Italy announced its highest daily Covid death toll since the pandemic started, with 993 fatalities.

“We cannot let down our guard,” Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte told a news conference.

“We must eliminate the risk of a third wave which could arrive in January – and not less serious than the first and the second,” he added.

There will be travel exceptions for work, medical reasons or emergencies.

On top of the regional travel bans, people will not be allowed to leave their home towns on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

The new curbs have been criticised in a joint statement by regional authorities, who say they were not consulted by the central government.

“The lack of discussion has made it impossible to balance the curbs with the needs of families,” the statement said.

Attilio Fontana, governor of the northern Lombardy region, which has reported the most cases and deaths, called the new rules “crazy”.

More than 58,000 people have lost their lives to Covid-19 in Italy.

Before Thursday, the country’s previous record daily death toll was 969 on 27 March.

 

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