Italy pushes back coronavirus curfew by one hour as six regions made low-risk zones

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Italy approved a new curfew on Monday allowing people to circulate in the evenings one hour longer after the country saw its lowest coronavirus deaths in months.

The 10 pm-5 am curfew, which has been in effect in most of Italy since November, now will be pushed back to 11 pm, while in-restaurant dining will be allowed until 6 pm from June 1 under new rules.

The curfew -- intended to discourage social gatherings that could risk an upswell in new coronavirus infections -- will be pushed back to midnight beginning on June 7, and eliminated entirely on June 21 in the so-called “yellow zones” where it is in effect, a government official confirmed.

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Italy began its long-awaited reopening late last month, allowing restaurants and bars to operate outside and doing away with interregional travel restrictions in most of the country.

Italy has been divided into different colored zones indicating the level of coronavirus restrictions they must follow based on health data, with “red” being the highest-risk zones, followed by orange and yellow. Most of Italy is currently considered yellow.

Monday’s measures also saw six different regions being made minimal-risk “white” zones, where only mask-wearing and social distancing applies: Friuli-Venezia-Giulia, Molise and Sardinia, as of June 1, and Abruzzo, Veneto and Liguria a week later.

The new measures come amid encouraging health data in recent weeks while the pace of vaccinations has picked up.

Sunday’s 93 Covid-19-related deaths was the lowest figure seen since October. The health ministry recorded 140 deaths on Monday.

Prime Minister Mario Draghi has faced pressure in recent weeks from the far-right, which has been pushing for the country to open up more quickly, including getting rid of the curfew entirely.
Beaches officially opened at the weekend, and European Union tourists were allowed entry into the country on Sunday without the need to quarantine for five days.

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