Italian government bans public New Year events and shuts night clubs to stem spread of covid-19.
Italy is to step up police checks on New Year's Eve to enforce the government's ban on public celebrations and ensure that people are wearing masks outdoors, the interior ministry announced.
Police are to focus their anti-covid controls in city-centre areas most associated with nightlife where the likelihood of people gathering is highest, reports news agency ANSA.
The move comes after the Italian government banned public New Year events and ordered the closure of night clubs from 30 December until 31 January 2022.
People are not prohibited from hosting New Year parties in their homes, with no limitations on the number of guests, however the government has urged "maximum caution".
It is also possible to dine in restaurants on New Year's Eve, armed with the Super Green Pass which can only be obtained by those who have been vaccinated or recovered from covid.
However the recent spike of covid infections has reportedly led to a flurry of cancellations in restaurants and hotels, as people move the party from the piazza to private homes.
Italy's latest anti-covid rules are far less restrictive than New Year's Eve last year when the whole country was in a 'red zone' lockdown. This year, by contrast, there is no curfew or no travel restrictions.
News of the increased police checks tonight comes amid record daily tallies of new covid-19 infections.
On Thursday Italy registered 126,888 new covid infections in the last 24 hours - up from 98,020 the day before - in what are the highest daily figures since the start of the pandemic.
Ahead of the government's clamp-down on New Year festivities, many cities in Italy cancelled their 'capodanno' events due to concerns over the rising numbers of covid cases.
The mayors of Rome, Milan and Florence have also restricted the use of fireworks on New Year's Eve.
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