Italy considers private party ban as covid-19 cases rise

New decree could ban private parties and amateur contact sports.

Italy's imminent new decree aimed at tackling covid-19 could include measures to prohibit parties - both in public and in private homes - as well as amateur contact sports, such as calcetto, government sources told Italian news agency ANSA.

The decree, scheduled for issue on Thursday 15 October but which could arrive a couple of days early - possibly by Monday evening - is also expected to include restrictions aimed at curbing nightlife, reports ANSA.

These measures could include the closure of bars and restaurants at midnight, with the consumption of food and drink while standing at such premises prohibited from 21.00.

The government ministers involved in drawing up the new measures - which are also set to reinforce Italy's smart-working model - are convening again today, Sunday, to fine-tune the decree.

The move comes after Italy registered another leap in infections on Saturday 10 October, recording 5,724 new positive cases, up from 5,372 the day before, with 29 deaths.

Italy recently made carrying a protective face mask mandatory in public at all times, including outdoors "when in proximity to others not from the same household".

Those who refuse to wear a mask face fines of between €400 and €1,000, while businesses that fail to enforce the rules on their premises also risk fines of up to €1,000 as well as being closed down for up to 30 days.

In addition the government has made swab testing mandatory for people coming to Italy from Belgium, the Netherlands and the UK, as is currently the case for those arriving from Croatia, Greece, Malta, Spain and seven areas of France.

Italy also extended until 31 January 2021 its existing state of emergency, which grants authorities special powers in tackling the fallout from the covid-19 crisis swiftly, cutting through red tape to implement, modify or revoke emergency measures if and when required.

For more information about the covid-19 situation in Italy see the health ministry website.

Photo La Repubblica Milano