Coronavirus-Italy: Fresh support for businesses and households
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Coronavirus-Italy: Fresh support for businesses and households

© Belga

Italy’s government has announced new measures to support economic sectors and households affected by steps taken recently to curb the spread of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

The price tag for the new measures, which were decided on the night of Friday to Saturday, was not mentioned in the official statement announcing them. However, Italian media have mentioned the figure of about 2.5 billion euros.

The Italian Government last week decided to impose a night-time curfew from 9 p.m. throughout the country and a lockdown in four regions hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new measures decided overnight include a fund to bankroll the economic activities of regions that may also have to be placed on lockdown, along with a fund to compensate city-centre shops and stores for their losses, since they will now be closed at weekends.

Households are to receive a babysitter bonus of 1,000 euros in regions on lockdown, which have been coded red, and where secondary schools have been closed.

Italy has registered over 40,000 deaths for more than 820,000 COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began. It has been trying to counter a new surge in cases by taking localised measures but stopping short of the type of nationwide lockdown imposed in Spring at a heavy social and economic cost.

The peninsula is this year set to experience its worst recession since World War II, with Gross Domestic Product expected to plunge, for the moment, by 9% to 11.5%, mainly as a result of the strict two-month lockdown imposed in March and April.

The Brussels Times