Milan mayor threatens another shutdown as ‘disgraceful’ crowds celebrate new freedom

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The mayor of Milan has issued an angry threat to his people after television footage showed large crowds gathering around the city’s popular canal district.
On Monday, Italy lifted some of Europe’s toughest lockdown restrictions, allowing some businesses to reopen and giving people more freedom to move around in public.
But authorities did warn that social distancing must still be enforced, and members of the public should continue taking steps to prevent further infection in the country.
Navigli canals
Milan’s mayor on Friday threatened to shut down the popular Navigli zone of restaurants bordering canals after seeing photographs of groups of people sitting in groups without masks. (AP/AAP)
As the people of Milan celebrated the small return to normalcy, many flocked to the Navigli, Milan’s popular canal district, where some cafes, restaurants and bars had reopened.
“Yesterday’s images from along the Navagli were disgraceful,” Mayor Giuseppe Sala said in in an online message from his offices.
He threatened that if things didn’t change immediately, he would “pass measures to close the Navigli” and shut down takeaway services with the newly reopened businesses.
“Then you can explain to the people who work in bars, why the mayor isn’t allowing them to do business,” Mayor Sala warned.

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“This isn’t a game, we can’t allow this in a city of 1.4 million inhabitants.”
Italy has seen some of the worst casualties from COVID-19 in Europe, with the country’s death toll now at 30,201 according to the Civil Protection Agency.
More than half of those killed hail from the devastated Lombardy district near Milan.
Over 99,000 Italians have been hospitalised and recovered from the virus.
The country is also facing its worst recession since World War II since the majority of businesses were closed to prevent further spread of the virus.
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