Italian Protesters Clash With Police After Government Imposes New Coronavirus Restrictions

Demonstrations in Italy turned violent on Monday, October 26, as protesters vented their frustrations at government-imposed coronavirus restrictions across the country.

According to CNN, protesters clashed with police in Milan and Turin and some have been injured amidst the growing unrest.

Looting took place in Turin with Gucci and Louis Vuitton shops targeted by protesters while garbage bins were also set alight. The BBC reported that petrol bombs had been thrown at police, and taxi drivers occupied the central square in the city.

In Milan, tear gas was used to break up the growing crowds who earlier lit flares, marched through the streets and threw barricades down subway stairs.

The protests were a reaction to the government's tighter restrictions across Italy, which went into effect at 6 p.m. on Monday, due to the rising number of people testing positive for coronavirus.

Restaurants and bars are now under curfew while other venues, such as movie theaters and gyms, have closed completely. The regions of Lombardy and Piedmont in northern Italy have imposed further localized restrictions in addition to those from the central government.

The latest outbreaks of violence in Italian cities follow a series of protests which took place in Naples on Saturday when the police and the army were attacked by crowds. Further unrest broke out in Naples as residents gathered and called for the resignation of their regional governor.

More peaceful protests took place in Rome, Genoa, Palermo, Trieste and Salerno as people voiced their concerns over the future of their businesses as a result of the new measures.

The Guardian reported how Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte acknowledged the difficulties facing the Italian people but outlined the severe impact the rise in coronavirus could have on the country's resources.

"The analysis indicates rapid growth, with the stress on the national health system at worrying levels. We need to do as much as possible to protect health and the economy … we know this is generating anger and inequality," he said.

Italian President Giuseppe Conte enforces new covid restrictions
Getty Images | Vittorio Zunino

Italy has seen a rapid rise in COVID-19 infections recently, and the tighter rules come as the government looks to control the rate of infection.

Nearly 17,000 more COVID-19 cases were recorded in Italy on Monday, taking Italy's total number of positive cases to 540,000 since the pandemic began.

The pandemic continues to affect countries across the world, and The Inquisitr recently reported on how the U.S. recorded 82,000 new positive cases in October.