Almost 23,000 fined in Italy for breaking coronavirus social distancing rules
A resort entrance is sealed off to prevent people from entering in the seaside town of Ostia, near Rome.(Andrew Medichini/AP)
Thousands of people who went out in Italy ahead of Easter were fined by police for ignoring coronavirus guidelines.
Between Friday and Saturday alone, 22,956 people and 397 businesses were fined for breaking social distancing and shutdown rules, according to the interior ministry.
Italy had crackdown down heading into Easter, sending out drones to surveil the countryside, looking for family gatherings for the holiday. Police also frequented tourist spots and areas like beaches as spring creeps in.
“Even at Easter, we all have to remain at home,” Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese said, according to The Telegraph. “Staying at home will allow Italy to reopen as soon as possible. People who cannot justify their journeys will be fined.”
In an attempt to stop the spread of coronavirus, Italy has been locked down for weeks, with people only allowed to leave for essential work, grocery shopping or medical appointments.
More than 156,000 people have tested positive for coronavirus so far in Italy, which was the epicenter of the outbreak in Europe. Almost 20,000 people have died so far.