Schools in Italy’s Campania region close
Schools in Italy’s southern Campania region have closed less than a month after reopening amid a rapid rise in coronavirus cases.
Authorities said schools will remain closed until the end of October after the region, which was relatively unscathed by the first wave of the pandemic, recorded 1,127 new cases in a day.
The move has created tension between the regional authorities and central government, with the education minister Lucia Azzolina arguing that the increase in infections is not the fault of schools.
“If we don’t want to sacrifice education we should promote home working more,” she said. “It’s not just students getting on buses in the morning. Leaving students at home is unacceptable.”
The prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, said closing schools “isn’t the best option”.
Concerns over coronavirus in Campania are high owing to its high population density and less well-equipped hospitals compared to those in the north.
The region had declared itself ‘Covid-free’ in June before the number of infections started rising from mid-August.
Italy recorded 8,804 new cases on Thursday, its highest daily tally since the beginning of the pandemic.
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Israel intends to ease some lockdown restrictions on Sunday, the government has announced, following a four-week national shutdown seeking to stall what was one of the world’s worst coronavirus outbreaks.
The Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement that as of Sunday:
- Companies that have no in-person customers can open.
- Daycares and nurseries for children aged 0 to 6 can restart.
- National parks and beaches will reopen.
- Restrictions of leaving one’s home or hosting people are lifted, as long as gatherings do no exceed 10 people inside and 20 people outside.
The statement warned that the restrictions could be reimposed if the infection rate, currently around 2,000 per day, increase. It added that areas with very high transmission rates may not be included under the new rules.
With schools, bars, and most shops remaining closed, Israel intends to exit the second national lockdown cautiously, after an overzealous reopening in the spring saw infection rates spiral.