Italy authorities warn no reopened travel if nightlife and parties continue

Under Italy’s Phase 2 regulations, travel between regions will be allowed from June 3, but the government has warned that the ‘movida’ outside bars and in squares needs to stop first.

Italy has seen over 32,000 fatalities from COVID-19, but with cases slowing and the death rate falling, greater freedom has been granted to citizens. On May 18, bars and restaurants were permitted to reopen as long as they enforce social distancing by separating tables and ensuring customers remain one metre apart. 

However, the government has been angered by the scenes of ‘movida’ in many cities, with big crowds gathering outside bars and clubs, not respecting social distancing and not wearing masks in many cases. 

In response, Monday saw Milan authorities banning the sale of takeaway alcohol after 7 pm. 

In the Veneto region, governor Luca Zaia has released a video to help spread the message that the fight against coronavirus is not over.

The video shows people enjoying evening drinks, embracing, shaking hands, and wearing their masks around their necks. It then cuts to a scene in hospital of a patient on a ventilator, and ends with the message, “COVID-19 is fought in hospitals, but above all outside.”

Speaking to Italian newspaper La Stampa, Italy’s minister of regional affairs Francesco Boccia said, “Although it is understandable and human after two months to get out of the house, we must not forget that we are still under COVID-19, and thus those who feed the nightlife are betraying the sacrifices made by millions of Italians.”

Boccia has proposed the recruitment of 60,000 volunteers to help enforce and monitor social distancing rules, but the idea has been deemed unfeasible by some officials. 

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Rebecca Ann Hughes

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