ITALY has announced a new raft of measures to tighten restrictions amid a surge in coronavirus cases.
A mask-wearing PM Giuseppe Conte said the measures were needed “to avoid a new lockdown”.
Mayors will get powers to close public areas after 21:00 and the opening times of restaurants and the size of groups allowed will tighten.
The moves came as Italy recorded its highest daily infection rate for the second day in a row.
Another 11,705 new cases were announced on Sunday, beating the previous record, which came a day earlier on Saturday, of 10,925.
Italy was the European nation hardest hit at the start of the pandemic. It has now recorded 414,000 confirmed coronavirus cases. Its 36,500 deaths place it second to only the UK in Europe.
The prime minister said in a televised address on Sunday evening: “We cannot waste time, we must put in place measures to avoid a generalised lockdown, which could severely compromise the economy.
“The government is here but everyone has to do their part.”
“The most effective measures remain the basic precautions: mask, distance and hand hygiene. We must pay attention to situations where we let our guard down – with relatives and friends. In these situations, the maximum precaution is required.”