Italy: 'If you close me, you kill me' — Restaurant owners rally against COVID measures in Rome

Restaurateurs and hospitality workers rallied against coronavirus restrictions that they said would put them out of work in Rome on Monday. The demonstration took place in the Italian capital's Piazza del Popolo, where protesters held signs attacking Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and bearing slogans such as «"If you close me, you kill me.» «We, as restaurant owners, think that it is a mockery. We ask the government for refunds, either a complete opening with no curfew or total lockdown with economic support and a tax freeze,» said a restaurant owner during the protest. The demonstration was organised by the Italian Hospitality Network (IHN), an association created during the lockdown to voice the demands of over 400 businesses across the peninsula. Bars and restaurants are required to close at 18:00 local time (17:00 GMT) under the new coronavirus restrictions introduced on Monday, October 25, by Conte, while cinemas, theatres, gyms, and swimming pools were forced to close entirely. Stricter local restrictions, including night-time curfews, have been introduced by some regional administrations in Italy, while protests against the measures have recently taken place in Milan, Naples, Palermo, and other cities.

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