Protests against the Italian government’s anti-coronavirus restrictions have spread across the country, with violent incidents overnight to Tuesday in Milan and Turin.

In Milan, several hundred protesters assembled at the regional government’s headquarters near the main train station, with some throwing stones, petrol bombs and fireworks.

In Turin, protesters smashed shop windows in the city centre, lit firecrackers, threw bottles and smoke bombs and overturned garbage containers.

According to the ANSA news agency, 10 protesters were arrested in Turin and two in Milan, and three officers were injured between the two cities. There were also demonstrations in Naples and Trieste.

On Monday, the Italian government imposed the most draconian restrictions since the end of the lockdown in June in a bid to contain a mounting second wave of coronavirus infections.

Bars and restaurants were ordered shut at 6 pm (1700 GMT); gyms, pools, cinemas, theatres and concert halls were closed; and high schools were ordered to hold online classes for at least 75 per cent of students.

The government has pledged to offer financial aid to workers and businesses affected by mandatory closures, and relief measures were expected to be approved in a cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte replied to Riccardo Muti, a famed orchestra conductor who protested the shutdown of the culture sector.

“It was a particularly painful decision,” Conte wrote in a letter to the Corriere della Sera newspaper. “We are forced to make these further sacrifices.”

Daily infection numbers roughly doubled in the past week. On Sunday they rose above 20,000 for the first time.

 

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