Coronavirus: military personnel given police powers to enforce restrictions on mobility and presence in the streets
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On 12 March 2020, Italian press agency ANSA reported the contents of an interior ministry circular issued concerning restrictions on mobility first decreed on 23 February and repeatedly expanded upon in the context of the coronavirus pandemic, from Lombardy and 14 provinces (the initial "red zone") to the entire national territory. Presence on the streets must be duly motivated in a justification form, for essential activities, going to work and essential shopping.
The circular in question states that:
"the armed forces personnel that is deployed, following a provision adopted by the competent prefetto [government envoy with responsibility for matters including security], to ensure the execution of containment measures is granted the status as a public security officer."
The measures adopted include the closure of shops that do not sell essential food and/or basic necessities, including in markets and shopping centres, restaurants, bars and ice cream parlours, except for those listed in Annex 1 of the decree issued on 11 March 2020. A distance of one metre between people must be maintained to prevent the spread of the virus.
'Coronavirus, ai militari la qualifica di agenti ps', Ansa, 12 March 2020
Text of the decree: 'Coronavirus, Conte firma il Dpcm 11 marzo 2020', 11 March 2020
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