Italy has added two more regions to its coronavirus high-risk “red zones” as the daily case count has surged again.
The two regions, Tuscany and Campania, will join the other four and one autonomous province to be put under strict restrictions, starting from Sunday, reports Xinhua news agency.
Earlier this month, the Italian government had introduced a three-tier system and split the country into three zones: red for the highest risk, orange for medium risk, and yellow for low risk.
“We are asking people for further sacrifices,” Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza wrote on Facebook on Saturday.
“There is no alternative path if we want to lower the number of deaths, contain infections, and avoid our health services to be put under an unbearable burden… We will make it, but everyone’s contribution is essential,” he added.
The “red zones” are subjected to restrictions equal to a soft lockdown.
Currently, in the “red zones” are Lombardy, Piedmont and the Aosta Valley in the north, and Calabria in the south, plus the Alto Adige (or South Tyrol) autonomous province in northern Italy.
In the “red zones”, all non-essential shops are shut, and non-essential movements are prohibited, as well as moving from one city to another within the region or to other parts of the country.
Outdoor sports activities are permitted within a short distance from home only.
Secondary schools (as in the rest of the country) and middle schools have to resort to full-time distant learning again, as in the first two-month-long national lockdown declared in spring.
These rules would add to the other restrictions implemented all over across the country, such as a curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., and the closure of gyms, discos, theatres, and museums.
As of Sunday, Italy’s overall coronavirus caseload and death toll stood at 1,144,552 and 44,683, respectively.