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World News

Italian region bans parties for 'stupid' Halloween

FILE PHOTO: Vincenzo De Luca, the Democratic Party (PD) candidate for president of the southern Campania region, reaches for a cup of coffee before giving a news conference in Naples, Italy, May 29, 2015. REUTERS/Ciro De Luca

ROME (Reuters) - An Italian regional governor plans to impose a curfew on the night of Oct. 31 to prevent coronavirus spreading at parties for Halloween which he branded “a huge American stupidity”.

Vincenzo De Luca, the forthright head of the southern Campania region centred on Naples, said via Facebook on Friday that a shutdown would begin at 10 p.m. on that night.

“Halloween is this huge stupidity. A huge American stupidity which we have imported into our country,” he posted.

Nov. 1 is a holiday in Italy to mark All Saints Days and U.S.-style Halloween parties the night before have only recently become popular here.

Campania has seen a sharp spike in COVID-19 cases this month and De Luca, a centre-left politician, announced on Thursday he was closing schools in his region for two weeks.

Famous in Italy for his colourful comments, De Luca threatened to send police with flamethrowers to break up student parties as the initial epidemic raged in March. He was re-elected to his post in September with almost 70% of the vote.

Reporting by Angelo Amante; Editing by Crispian Balmer and Andrew Cawthorne

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