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'Tomorrow I'll catch you!': Italian mayors lose patience with lockdown dodgers

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A woman walks her dog in a Rome neighbourhood amid a nationwide lockdown in italy
A woman walks her dog in a Rome neighbourhood amid a nationwide lockdown in italy   -   Copyright  AP
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One of the challenges facing governments as they battle the spread of coronavirus is enforcing lockdowns once they have been declared.

Keeping people quarantined has become policy in European countries such as Spain, France, and Italy, which was the first European country to enforce a lockdown.

Many however have not been heeding the instructions to stay indoors. Now, a number of mayors of Italian towns and cities are taking matters into their own hands.

In social media videos that are going viral, officials are taking drastic action to try to get through to their citizens.

“Where are you going with these dogs which must have inflamed prostates? You gotta stay home”, implores the mayor of Gualdo Tadino on Facebook.

Antonio Decaro, the Mayor of Bari, had someone film him walking a beach in Bari telling people they had to go home. He even had to interrupt a ping pong match that was taking place at the time.

And the mayor of Lucera, Antonio Tutolo, was not mincing his words in a Facebook address.

“These f*****g hairdressers who go into houses to cut women's hair, what the f**k are they for? Do you understand that the coffin will be closed? Who's going to see you with your hair fixed in the coffin?”

Italy is the worst affected country in Europe for COVID-19, with more than 64,000 confirmed cases and the world’s highest official death toll of 6,077 as of Monday 23 March.