The Italian government is expected to deploy up to 70,000 police and carabinieri over Easter weekend to prevent large gatherings and enforce lockdown restrictions.
From April 3rd to the 5th, beaches, vaccination centres, nightlife areas, public parks, and other spaces will see a heightened presence of law enforcement across Italy.
Several local politicians had begun to implement new restrictions ahead of the Easter weekend, such as the President of the Province of Grosseto in Tuscany, Antonfrancesco Vivarelli Colonna, who closed beaches in the commune of Capalbio, Il Giornale reports.
According to the newspaper, the Italian Interior Ministry has also recommended that travel be monitored by authorities, particularly public transportation.
Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s government introduced the new lockdown measures last month. The rules restrict travel to other regions unless the traveller is going to a second home and limits family get-togethers for the Easter holidays.
Last month, 11 Italian regions went into “red zone” lockdown measures that saw millions of Italians under travel restrictions and many non-essential businesses closed to stop the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus.
Most of Italy Goes into ‘Red Zone’ Coronavirus Lockdown Restrictions https://t.co/7or0lX8Ow8
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) March 16, 2021
During the Easter weekend, the entire country will be placed under the red zone restrictions regardless of the exact case numbers in the regions.
The lockdown measures have been met with criticism by Giorgia Meloni, leader of the Brothers of Italy, a national-conservative party in opposition to the Draghi government.
“It has now been more than a year since the pandemic has begun, and we are back to square one: school and business closures, no enhancement of public transport, few protections for the elderly and more vulnerable groups, and a vaccination plan that is still struggling to get started,” Meloni said last month.
Meloni has also criticised the fact that while there are red zone restrictions in place in the country, Italians are still allowed to go on holidays abroad, saying this week: “Easter in the red zone, but travel abroad is allowed. On the one hand, they force hotels, restaurants and tourism operators not to work; on the other, they allow you to travel outside the country. If they want to permanently destroy tourism in Italy, this is the right way to do it.”