Late Friday, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced Italy, one of the countries hardest hit by Covid-19, under new restrictions during the Christmas and New Year periods.
Under the new measures, shops, bars and restaurants will be closed and travel between regions will be banned, and in theory only one daily excursion per household is allowed.
Religious celebrations are allowed until 22.00.
“Our experts fear that the infection curve will increase during the Christmas period,” says Conte.
The Prime Minister acknowledged that the authorities had neither the opportunity nor the will to monitor compliance with containment measures, but he asked the Italians to respect a new limit for people hosting two adult guests at home.
However, grocery stores, hair salons, pharmacies, tobacconists and laundries as well as bookstores remain open.
Conte specified that the containment would be relaxed on December 28, 29, 30 as well as January 4.
On these days, shops can remain open until 21:00 and people are allowed to move freely.
Italy has 60 million inhabitants and is one of the oldest populations in Europe.