Coronavirus: Italy imposes 75% of teleworking on civil servants

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Will Italy end up giving France ideas on how to manage the health crisis? On the other side of the Alps, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte gave a press conference to announce new restrictive measures to fight the spread of the virus, while Italy remains to this day the most affected European country continent, with 414,000 cases and 36,543 deaths. And the latest epidemiological reports are hardly shining. On Friday, the country for the first time passed the milestone of 10,000 new daily cases and has remained above this threshold since. The threat is taken very seriously.

So many reasons which led Rome to tighten the screw again. With a very singular measure: the administration will be forced to work 75% by telework. The government hopes to reduce the pressure on public transport which, in order to respect physical distancing, must limit the number of passengers, especially at rush hour. Face-to-face working meetings should also be avoided in favor of video conferences. Measures which are widely recommended in the private sector, the government having no leverage at this level.

The French government, since the end of confinement, is content to call on companies to promote teleworking as much as possible and does not impose any global constraints on its officials.

Other measures already taken in France

The measures taken in Italy do not stop there. And France, on these other points, seems this time to have given some ideas to its neighbor. The government of Giuseppe Conte has decided that restaurants will have to close their doors at midnight, and can not accommodate more than six customers per table. Bars that will not be able to offer their customers table service will have to close their doors at 6 p.m., compared to 9 p.m. previously.

Italy has also decided to ban all local festivals and fairs (chestnuts, mushrooms) which are very popular in the country. In addition, all amateur team sports will now be prohibited. The mayors will be able to decide “the closure to the public, from 9 pm, of streets or places where crowds can be created”.

“We cannot waste time,” the Prime Minister explained from the Palazzo Chigi, seat of government. We must implement measures to avoid a new generalized containment which could seriously jeopardize the economy. To prevent the outbreak of cases, the government had already decided on October 7 to make it compulsory to wear a mask outside throughout the country and to extend the state of emergency until January 31. Those who do not wear masks outside their home face a fine of up to 1,000 euros.

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