- Austrians who pass antigen test to be exempt from lockdown
- Macron faces criticism over behaviour before Covid test
- Mike Pence receives Covid-19 vaccine
- UK coronavirus – latest updates
- US coronavirus – latest updates
Italy will go into varying levels of lockdown during the Christmas and New Year period as the government tries to impede a rise in coronavirus infections that could be triggered by the festivities.
The whole country will be under “red-zone” lockdown on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, St Stephen’s Day, 27 December and then again between 31 December and 3 January and 5-6 January, when Italy celebrates the feast of the epiphany. On those days non-essential shops will close along with bars and restaurants, unless they provide home delivery services. People must stay home unless they need to leave for emergency reasons, although in a significant exception, a maximum of two people (not counting children under 14) can leave their homes to visit another person’s home. On 28, 29 and 30 December, and 4 January Italy will be in “orange zone” lockdown, meaning people can leave their homes but must stay within their towns and all shops can reopen apart from bars and restaurants.
Italy’s announcement ended days of indecision and wrangling within the coalition, which was split between those wanting a complete shutdown and those pressing for more limited action to help struggling businesses and to allow some family reunions.
Under the new rules, non-essential shops will be shuttered between December 24-27, December 31- January 3 and January 5-6. On those days, Italians will only be allowed to travel for work, health or emergency reasons.