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Italy's Campania region sets curfew for 'stupid American' Halloween

Campania sets a curfew on 31 October after closing schools for the rest of the month.

Italy's southern Campania region which includes Naples has set a curfew of 22.00 on the night of 31 October to prevent the spread of coronavirus at Halloween parties.

"It is Halloween weekend, this enormous stupidity, this enormous American stupidity that we have also imported into our country" - Campania governor Vincenzo De Luca - "Halloween is a monument to imbecility."

De Luca announced that "everything will close" for Halloween, with "not even mobility" permitted on the night.

Still a slightly foreign concept in Italy, Halloween* continues to grow in popularity among younger Italians. It is followed on 1 November by All Saints’ Day, or Ognissanti, a public holiday in Italy.

Campania governor Vincenzo De Luca

Known in Italy for his over-the-top comments, De Luca made international headlines in March, at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, when he threatened to send "police with flamethrowers" to break up graduation parties.

News of the Halloween curfew came on 16 October, the same day that Campania closed all its schools until the end of the month, in an attempt to curb the region's rising number of new covid-19 infections.

However the move was slammed by Italy's education minister Lucia Azzolina as "extremely serious, deeply mistaken and inappropriate" and was also criticised by Italy's premier Giuseppe Conte who said school closures were "not the best solution."

Following protests by parents and appeals from town mayors, however, De Luca backtracked partially and reopened kindergartens.

Meanwhile all other schools in the region revert to the distance learning methods used during Italy's lockdown earlier this year.

Italy registered 10,010 new coronavirus cases on 16 October, its highest daily caseload ever, with 1,261 cases recorded in Campania.

*Although popularised in American culture, since the early 19th century, Halloween traces its roots back to ancient Celtic Ireland and the pagan Samhain festival.

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