Italy has tightened its coronavirus restrictions - here are the new rules

Italy has tightened restrictions in a bid to curb the spread of coronavirus, as cases in the country surge.

New measures include limits on the opening times of restaurants and the capacity of groups, with the aim of avoiding a second national lockdown.

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Highest daily infection rates recorded

Italy recorded its highest daily infection rate for the second day in a row, with 11,705 new cases announced on Sunday 18 October), with 10,925 cases on Saturday (17 October).

New measures include Mayors having the power to close public areas after 9pm, alongside the opening times of restaurants and the number of people in a group also being restricted.

Bars and restaurants will have to close at midnight, and only table service will be allowed after 6pm. The maximum number of people allowed in a group will be six.

Starting times in schools will also be later and more distance learning will be encouraged, but this will mainly affect older students in high schools.

Other measures also include the suspension of parties, festivals, conferences and conventions. Gyms and swimming pools will have to adapt to new protocols.

Amateur contact sports must also stop and takeaways will only be allowed up until midnight. The new restrictions came into effect at midnight local time on Sunday and will remain in place until 13 November.

‘We must put in place measures to avoid a generalised lockdown’

Italy’s Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, spoke to the nation in a televised address on the evening of Sunday 18 October.

Mr Conte said, "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.”