The Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza urged people to be responsible as the country goes into the next lockdown due to rising numbers of COVID-19 infections.
Italy’s government announced on Friday that most of the country would effectively be under lockdown. Following a fresh surge in infections, many regions including Lombardy and Lazio will be designated “red zones” from Monday, Speranza said.
From Monday, every Italian region with more than 250 cases per 100,000 inhabitants would be moved automatically into the highest-risk red zone, a spokesman for Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s administration said.
According to official weekly health data, the measures and vaccination programme would allow restrictions to be relaxed in the second half of spring. Taking into account the mass vaccination against the COVID-19, the country will cope easily with the next lockdown.
“Each dose of vaccine injected is a step in the direction of the way out of the crisis,” health minister said on Sunday.
Italy: new lockdown until Easter
Prior to the lockdown’s announcing Friday, prime minister Draghi thanked Italians for their “infinite patience” and said the new measures would be accompanied by fresh support for families and businesses.
New restrictions will be in place until at least Easter, the only exception to the restrictions is Sardinia, which is Italy’s only “white zone”.
The prime minister acknowledged there would be “consequences for the education of children, for the economy and also for the psychological state of us all”.
Italy’s Cabinet said enhanced measures were needed after weeks of rising numbers in most parts of the country.