International

Coronavirus: Italy shuts cinemas, gyms and pools in Covid fight

Demonstrations took place in Naples and, seen here, in Rome against Covid measures

Italy is shutting cinemas, swimming pools and gyms from Monday in a further attempt to curb the rapid rise in coronavirus infections.

Bars and restaurants will have to close by 18:00 but shops and the majority of businesses will remain operating.

Meanwhile, Spain on Sunday agreed a nationwide “state of alarm”, which provides the legal basis for regions to impose tighter measures.

Both countries were hit hard during the first wave of the pandemic in Europe.

Italy’s measures were agreed between Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and regional leaders.

The Campania region, which contains Naples, has been among those calling for tighter restrictions.

Mr Conte has said he does not want to repeat the national lockdown imposed during the first wave in March and April because of the economic damaged caused.

Under the new measures, the bulk of secondary school teaching will be conducted online instead of in the classroom.

The Italian move comes amid demonstrations in Naples, and then Rome, against stricter coronavirus measures.

Saturday saw a new daily record of cases in Italy of more than 19,600. The number of deaths was 151.

Spain has passed one million cases since the start of the pandemic and nearly 35,000 people have died.

The latest measure agreed by Spain’s Socialist government, with the backing of the centre-right Ciudadanos and separatist parties from the Basque country and Catalonia, provides the legal framework for regions to bring in tighter restrictions such as curfews.

More than half of the country’s 17 regions had requested the move.