Italy approves 2.9 bln euro aid package after new virus curbs

MILAN, Nov 7 (Reuters) - Italy has approved a new aid package to cushion the blow on the economy from restrictions it introduced this week in an effort to stem a resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The measures agreed by cabinet late on Friday are worth 2.9 billion euros, a person with knowledge of the matter said.

New coronavirus curbs came into force on Friday, dividing the country into three zones according to the severity of the latest outbreak.

The limitations are less severe than the nationwide lockdown Rome imposed when the coronavirus first took hold in March, but many shops have been shut in the highest-risk zones such as Milan’s Lombardy region, where people can only leave their homes for work, health reasons or emergencies.

The package delays to the spring tax payments due in November and increases transfers to businesses operating in the regions classed as “red” or “orange” hit by the strictest limitations.

It provides funds for childcare or work leave for parents who are not able to work from home after the government moved online school classes for high schools and the last two years of middle school.

Reporting by Valentina Za and Giuseppe Fonte; editing by Jason Neely