The political status in Italy
With the Prime Minister Decree (known as DPCM) signed by Prime Minister Conte, the minimum precautionary measures to combat and contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus were extended until 7 September 2020. The newest set of rules signed by Conte on Monday 7 September were predominantly to extend the existing rules put in place by previous decrees. It will be valid for 30 days, until 7 October, when ministers will again decide if rules should be extended or revisited.
Separately, on 20 and 21 September the constitutional referendum will be held in Italy. Among other things, in the referendum people will be asked to approve or reject an amendment to the Italian Constitution to reduce the number of Members of Parliament; the number of MPs in the Chamber of Deputies would be reduced from 630 to 400, and in the Senate from 315 to 200. The referendum was initially scheduled for 29 March, but the COVID-19 pandemic forced the government to postpone it. Regional elections in seven out of the twenty Italian regions, namely Aosta Valley, Campania, Liguria, Marche, Apulia, Tuscany, and Veneto, will be held in concurrence with the referendum.
Even as plans to hold regional and national political events proceed, the number of new COVID-19 infections recorded daily in Italy is accelerating, with an average of 1,000 cases per day, but public health measures have remained the same since August. Indeed, on 7 August the Council of Ministers approved a decree-law introducing urgent measures to support and relaunch the economy. Through the decree, the Government has allocated a further €25 billion to be used to support and strengthen the recovery from the negative consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and to support workers, families and businesses, with particular regard to disadvantaged areas of the country.