By : CHRIS TOMLINSON
Italians in areas designated as coronavirus lockdown “red zones” could face as many as six years in prison if they violate quarantine or lie to public officials.
As some regions of Italy have gone into strict lockdowns to stop the second wave of the Wuhan coronavirus, many face penalties, including prison time, if they violate the new measures.
According to a report from Il Giornale, under the red zone rules, all travel except for buying food and other necessary goods is prohibited, including visiting friends and relatives.
Those caught lying to officials while trying to visit a relative or friend face a prison sentence of one to six years. Those positive for coronavirus who leave their homes and infect others can be tried for culpable epidemic transmission and face sentences between six months and three years.
A three month to 18-month prison sentence can be handed down to those who refuse to respect the lockdown rules, including fines from €500 to €5,000.
According to the Italian Health Ministry, all non-essential travel outside a home in a red zone requires the individual to carry forms provided by the government to justify their movements.
The ministry has also encouraged people to take advantage of holidays and leave during the lockdown period to reduce travel.
On Friday, Calabria, Lombardy, Piedmont, and Val d’Aosta were designated as red zones, while Puglia and Sicily have been classified as “orange zones”, which are seen as medium risk.
Many businesses have struggled under lockdown measures, and populist Senator Matteo Salvini’s League has suggested the government stop collecting taxes from regions under red zone lockdown to help businesses and residents.
Gianluca Comazzi, a member of Forza Italia and ally of the League agreed, saying he would table a motion to provide tax relief in the Lombardy regional council.