Italy is considering extending until the end of January next year its state of emergency over the Covid-19 crisis.
Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Thursday that he would propose an extension to parliament as the Government tries to avoid the surge in cases seen in other European countries.
The emergency, set to expire in mid-October, gives the Government greater powers, allowing officials to more easily bypass the bureaucracy that smothers much decision-making in Italy.
“We will propose to parliament to extend the state of emergency, probably to the end of January 2021,” the PM told Newsmen.
Italy, the first European country to experience a major coronavirus outbreak during the spring, managed to curb infections after a strict lockdown that ran between March and May.
However, it has the highest COVID-19 death toll in continental Europe, with 35,894 confirmed fatalities.
Daily cases have picked up again over the past two months but they remain under 2,000, a fraction of the number in France and Spain, which have been forced to tighten restrictions again in some areas.