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World News

Factbox: Italy's new measures to curb resurgent coronavirus epidemic

ROME (Reuters) - Italy’s government has approved new restrictions to tackle the second wave of the coronavirus epidemic and curb a steady rise in deaths and hospital admissions.

Under previous decrees gyms, cinemas and theatres were already closed and restaurants and bars must shut at 6 p.m.

Here are the main new measures that come into force on Friday and are due to run until Dec. 3:

ITALY DIVIDED INTO THREE AREAS

The government has established three tiers that split the country’s 20 regions into red (high risk), orange (medium risk) and yellow (low risk) zones. The zoning depends on a variety of factors, including local infection rates and hospital occupancy.

Restrictions are calibrated as a result.

The red regions facing the toughest restrictions are Lombardy and neighbouring Piedmont in the industrial north, Calabria in Italy’s southern toe and the tiny alpine region of Valle D’Aosta.

The orange regions are Puglia in Italy’s mainland heel and the southern island of Sicily.

All the remaining regions, including Lazio around the capital Rome, are yellow, meaning there are no restrictions other than those imposed nationwide.

NATIONWIDE CURBS

Regardless of the zoning, the government has introduced additional nationwide limits. These include:

- Nighttime curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. During these hours people can only leave their homes for work, medical reasons or emergencies.

- Closure of museums and exhibitions.

- Shopping centres to close at weekends.

- Capacity limit on public transport cut to 50% from 80%.

- All high schools classes to be moved online. Younger children will still be allowed to attend classes in person.

- Unlike in Italy’s national lockdown in the spring, all factories will remain open nationwide.

RED ZONE

- In these worst hit areas people will only be allowed to leave their homes for work, health reasons or emergencies, while teaching will be held online for the final two years of middle school as well as high school.

- Bars, restaurants and most shops to be closed 24/7.

ORANGE ZONE

- People can move freely within their towns and cities, but not leave them even to travel to other towns in the same region.

- Bars and restaurants to shut 24/7, but shops can remain open.

YELLOW ZONE

- There are no restrictions beyond the nationwide curbs.

STIMULUS PACKAGE

Under a separate decree, expected on Thursday, the government is set to approve a new stimulus package worth at least 1.5 billion euros (1.4 billion pounds) to support the economy. Last month it passed 5.4 billion euros of measures for worst-hit businesses.

Reporting by Angelo Amante; Editing by Crispian Balmer and Gavin Jones

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