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FACTBOX-Italy's measures to prevent Xmas surge in COVID-19 infections

04 Dec 2020 / 05:44 H.

    ROME, Dec 3 (Reuters) - Italy approved new restrictions on Thursday to avoid a new surge in coronavirus infections during the Christmas and New Year holidays.

    Under current curbs, which will remain in place, the country is divided into three zones with restrictions calibrated according to infection rates.

    Gyms, cinemas and theatres are closed nationwide, with restaurants and bars must shut at 6 p.m. and all high school classes are held remotely.

    Here are the new measures, most of which will run from Dec. 4 to Jan. 15:

    LIMITATIONS ON MOVEMENT

    - From Dec. 21 to Jan. 6 movement between regions will only be allowed for work, medical reasons or emergencies. On Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day, Italians will not be able to leave their towns.

    - The current nighttime curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m will be extended unti 7 a.m. on New Year's Eve. On that night, hotels will only serve dinner with room service.

    - Anyone entering Italy from abroad must quarantine for 14 days.

    MASS

    The curfew does not permit the traditional Christmas midnight mass, which must be brought forward to early evening.

    SHOPS

    Shops can remain open until 9 p.m. until Jan. 6, but large shopping centres must shut at weekends.

    SKI RESORTS AND CRUISES

    Ski resorts will remain closed to amateur skiers until Jan. 7, when they can reopen if they have adopted security protocols to avoid large gatherings. All cruises will be suspended from Dec. 21 to Jan. 6.

    SCHOOLS

    Face-to-face teaching will be reintroduced for 75% of high school classes from Jan. 7. The rest will remain online. Younger children will continue to attend school in person as they do at present. (Reporting by Angelo Amante, editing by Gavin Jones)

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