Italy considers new Coronavirus restrictions as infections spike: official

Passengers wearing protective face masks travel on a bus, as Italy adopts new restrictions aimed at curbing a surge in the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections, in Rome, Italy

Italy is considering tightening nationwide restrictions in response to a spike in COVID-19 cases, the head of the north-western region of Liguria said on Saturday.

Giovanni Toti said Italian health minister Roberto Speranza met local authorities on Saturday to discuss possible new steps.

“We are working on some measures,” Toti said on Facebook, adding that the government would urge schools to alternate between online and in-person lessons, and tell companies to increase remote working.

But he said officials, for the moment, were not going to introduce a nightly curfew or further restrictions to bars and restaurants.

New measures could be approved by the government by Monday, according to Italian media outlets.

Italy, the first major European country to be hit by COVID-19, had managed to get the contagion under control by the summer thanks to a two-month rigid lockdown on business and movements. But infections have soared in recent weeks.

Italy posted 10,010 new infections on Friday, according to the health ministry, the highest daily tally since the start of the country’s outbreak.

The country has the second-highest death toll in Europe after Britain, with over 36,000 fatalities since the outbreak flared in February, according to official figures.

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