Closed for Easter: Italy Set to Introduce Another National Lockdown

This picture shows a general view of Piazza Navona with empty restaurants in Rome on October 26, 2020, as the country faces a second wave of infections to the Covid-19 (the novel coronavirus). - Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte tightened nationwide coronavirus restrictions on October 25, 2020 after the country …
TIZIANA FABI/AFP via Getty Images

The Italian government is set to impose another national lockdown over the Easter weekend amid growing numbers of cases of the Chinese coronavirus.

The recently installed technical government of Prime Minister Mario Draghi has reportedly drafted a decree that would see shops closed between April 3rd and April 5th. Family get-togethers for Easter dinner are also expected to be limited under the lockdown measures.

Lockdown measures would also include restrictions on people travelling from small towns in “yellow” tier regions, as well as restaurants and bars being forced to close, according to a draft of the decree seen by Reuters.

The national lockdown comes shortly after Italy became the sixth country in the world to record over 100,000 coronavirus deaths, following the United States, Mexico, Brazil, India, and the United Kingdom.

Italy, which was the first European country to announce a national lockdown last year, has seen a bungled rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine, with widespread failures across the European Union.

Earlier this month, the Italian government became the first EU member-state to block the export of coronavirus vaccines, barring a shipment of 250,000 doses of the AstraZeneca jab intended for Australia.

EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen later warned that the action from Italy was “not a one-off“, predicting other EU countries will follow suit in seizing vaccine supplies.

So far, Italy has only managed to vaccinate around 7 per cent of its population, with 6.2 million doses.

The inoculation drive saw another setback this week after the use of 300,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine was halted following the sudden deaths of people in good health in Sicily.

Fears are mounting over a possible third wave of the Chinese coronavirus in Europe, with 25,000 new cases and 314 deaths recorded on Friday.

The stringent lockdown measures in Italy from the outset of the pandemic have placed considerable strain on the already weakened economy.

In December, a leading Italian business group, Confcommercio, warned that over 390,000 businesses are at risk of closure, representing 7.2 per cent of all business in the country.

Amid lockdown restrictions and a lack of tourists, locals in Milan claimed in February that as much as 60 per cent of the city’s restaurants could close down for good.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka

.

Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.