Italy to extend covid-19 state of emergency until 30 April

Italy's health minister calls for 'united effort' to fight covid-19.

The Italian government is to extend the nation's covid-19 state of emergency until 30 April, health minister Roberto Speranza announced today, 13 January.

"This week there has been a general deterioration in the epidemiological situation in Italy," Speranza told the lower house, stating that the epidemic is "in a phase of expansion again."

Yesterday Speranza called for a "united effort to fight the virus," adding that "We are at the last mile of this battle" but that the "next few months will be difficult."

Speranza was reporting to the chambers on the new measures contained in Italy's latest emergency decree which will come into force on 16 January.

The minister affirmed that the government intends to confirm the ban on moving between regions and to prohibit takeaway from bars after 18.00, as well as reopening museums in yellow zones.

He said the government will add a fourth category to the current three-tiered system of restrictions, with the creation of a low-risk 'white zone,' where all businesses can open, including gyms and swimming pools.

What is Italy's state of emergency?

The state of emergency grants special powers to national and regional authorities in tackling the fallout from the covid-19 crisis quickly, cutting through red tape to implement, modify or revoke emergency measures if and when required.

Italy's state of emergency to deal with the covid-19 crisis was introduced on 31 January 2020. Currently due to expire on 31 January 2021, the government will extend the measure until 30 April 2021. 

Since the outbreak came to light on 21 February, Italy has registered 79,819 coronavirus-related deaths, the second-highest toll in Europe and the sixth-highest in the world, according to Reuters.

Photo: Marti Bug Catcher / Shutterstock.com.

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