Rome [Italy], November 8 (ANI/Xinhua): The Italian government announced on Saturday it has issued a new decree increasing aid to families and businesses stricken by the latest anti-COVID-19 restrictions.
On Nov. 4, the government imposed a nationwide curfew, between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., as the pandemic surged in Italy.
It also shut down shopping malls on weekends and holidays, curtailed the operating hours of bars and restaurants to 5 a.m.-6 p.m., and shut down museums, theaters, concert venues, movie theaters, and betting venues.
The new decree "allocates further resources to support businesses and employees that are directly or indirectly affected by restrictions imposed" to contain the pandemic, the government said in a statement.
The new measure builds on a 5.4-billion-euro (6.4 billion U.S. dollars) aid package contained in a previous Oct. 28 decree, which was aimed at hard-hit businesses such as bars, restaurants, gyms and hotels, seasonal workers, and employees in the sports and entertainment sectors.
The new decree, which covers November and December, increases grants for businesses and employees, suspends taxes and social security contributions, provides a babysitting bonus to families in areas where elementary schools have been shut down, and increases funds for public transportation.
The government's statement did not give an overall figure for the new aid package.
The new measure came as the Ministry of Health on Saturday reported 39,811 new infections in a 24-hour span in Italy, with 25,109 patients hospitalized and 2,634 in the ICU. (ANI/Xinhua)