Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced Thursday in Rome that the government is wrapping up its move to buy 5 million coronavirus rapid antigen tests, Reuters reports. The transaction will enable Italians to face the coming weeks and months with less anxiety, he observed.
In Italy, testing is granted to those with COVID-19 symptoms, those who have been in contact with people who have tested positive and those who have returned from high-risk countries.
In response to the recent rise of confirmed cases, Italy has made the wearing of masks outdoors mandatory in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus, BBC reported yesterday, Thursday. Conte announced the latest restrictions in an effort to avoid another lockdown, which would devastate the economy.
Restrictions were already in place in those parts of Italy where the numbers of confirmed infections have been on the rise. Conte’s latest announcement makes them nationwide. Wearing masks is mandatory in offices, shops and on public transport as well as in bars and restaurants when not seated at a table.
France announced harsher restrictions in several major cities on Thursday, with maximum alert protocol in force in Paris since Tuesday, where bars and cafés have been closed, RFI reports. President Emmanuel Macron warned that the spread of the virus has picked up pace in recent weeks, hence the importance of imposing harsher restrictions, especially in places where the virus is spreading among the elderly.
In Scotland, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon stated that the two-week closure of pubs in central Scotland was a short-term action aimed at curbing rising infection rates, RFI reported.
In Brussels, bars are closed and drinking alcohol in public places has been banned until November 8, with an 11 pm bar curfew already in place elsewhere in the country.
In Switzerland, the head of the Federal Department of Home Affairs Alain Berset called on citizens to respect social distancing rules as the number of daily positive tests exceeded 1,000 for the first time since last April.