Coronavirus: Italian Region Limits Alcohol Sales, Bans Contact Sports, Shuts Bingo Halls

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ROME (AP) — Italy’s northern Lombardy region, where the European coronavirus outbreak began in late February, has taken new measures to contain rebounding infections, limiting bar service and alcohol sales, banning contact sports, and closing bingo parlours.

The regional government late Friday also called for high schools to adopt hybrid schedules with students alternating in-person with online learning.

The measures were taken after Lombardy, Italy’s most populous region, has once again become the most affected in the COVID-19 resurgence, adding more than 2,000 infections a day. Hospitals are coming under strain and intensive care units are filling up.

The new measures allow only table service for bars from 6 p.m., ban takeout alcohol sales from that time and prohibit all consumption of booze in public spaces, an effort to eliminate crowds from forming in piazzas with takeout drinks.

Italy’s other hardest-hit region, southern Campania, has taken similarly strict measures, including a shutdown of schools for two weeks. After parents protested, the regional governor backed off Friday and allowed day-care centres to remain open.

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