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Italy introduces tougher measures to stem rise in new COVID infections

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Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte briefs the Lower Chamber on the COVID-19 situation and on new measures being taken to curb the spread of the pandemic.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte briefs the Lower Chamber on the COVID-19 situation and on new measures being taken to curb the spread of the pandemic.   -   Copyright  Roberto Monaldo/LaPresse via AP
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Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced new national restrictions aimed at halting the increase of coronavirus cases. The measures include closing shopping malls on the weekends, shutting down museums and limiting movements between regions.

There will also be a ``late evening curfew, but no time has been given so far for when the curfew will come into play. Currently only some regions, including Lazio where Rome is located, have a curfew.

Measures adopted by the Italian government to contain a new spike in coronavirus cases have already led to protests all over the country.

On Saturday in Rome two demonstrations took place in quick succession, the first organised by the 'Tricolour Masks' movement, the other by social centres, trade unions and fair housing movements.

In the evening, over 2,000 people descended on Piazza Indipendenza and then marched toward the popular neighbourhood of San Lorenzo.

Police clashed with protesters, with demonstrators throwing bottles and stones at officers.

The hospitality sector has been particularly hard hit by the governments' measures. Protestors say they are ready to abide by the rules, but their patience is running out.

"We want to carry on working, we want all businesses to remain open as it used to be but with new rules in place," explained one disgruntled restaurant owner. "As long as we respect the rules, the government should respect us. Is that ok? We want to work, we have mortgages, employees and taxes to pay. We have had enough!”

Watch the full report by correspondent Giorgia Orlandi in the video player above.