Covid-19: Italy likely to extend state of emergency until end of 2020

Italy close to extending covid-19 state of emergency, reports Italian media.

Italy is working towards extending its state of emergency, over the covid-19 crisis, until 31 December 2020, according to numerous reports in Italian media.

Italy's premier Giuseppe Conte is reportedly close to extending the current state of emergency - which was introduced on 31 January and comes to an end of 31 July - until the end of this year.

Speaking to reporters in Venice on 10 July Conte said that people "shouldn't be surprised" if the state of emergency is extended, as without it Italy would no longer have the "means or tools" to intervene, reports Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore.

The state of emergency grants authorities special powers to tackle the fallout from the virus quickly, cutting through the usual bureaucratic procedures.

Conte told Spanish reporters on 9 July that, in the eventuality of a second wave of coronavirus, Italy is "equipped to keep it under control," reports Italian news agency ANSA.