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Rome police to check all cars in bid to get people off streets

Police to carry out stricter controls on people walking around Rome.

Rome police are to begin checking 'all cars' driving around the capital in a bid to reduce the number of people still in circulation despite a nationwide lockdown due to the Coronavirus emergency.

The zero-tolerance measures, which take effect from 21 March "until further notice", will see police checking all vehicles instead of just spot checks, to ask people their reason for travelling, reports Italian news agency ANSA.

There will also be roadblocks to check that people do not take advantage of the fine weather to go on weekend trips to the countryside or the sea.

Police have stated that the new measures will inevitably result in some traffic tailbacks, reports ANSA.

In addition to the new controls on motorists, police will also be carrying out more checks on people out walking.

The tightening of measures comes as Rome's mayor Virginia Raggi continues to appeal to citizens to respect the quarantine and to stay at home.

In recent days the mayor has accompanied police as they intervene in cases where people are out for a stroll, hanging out with their friends or even sunbathing.

"Perhaps the gravity of the situation is not clear" - Raggi says - "I invite everyone to look at the images of Bergamo, where in recent days the army is taking away the coffins of those who contracted the Coronavirus, because by now there is no space left in the cemeteries there."

Reminding people that it is "up to us" to stop the pandemic, Raggi said: "To those who have still not understood, I no longer know what to say."

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