Italy's government will ask some 60,000 citizens to work as volunteers to enforce social distancing rules as it gradually removes coronavirus restrictions, after scenes of street gatherings over the weekend sparked an outcry.
Italy is gradually relaxing a nationwide lockdown imposed in early March, permitting travel between regions and meetings between friends, and allowing bars to serve drinks as long as a two-metre security distance is respected.
However, hundreds of new cases of the virus and deaths are being recorded every day and local administrators are worried contagions may surge again if citizens do not respect the rules.
TV images over the first post-lockdown weekend showed traffic jams in Naples and crowds in Milan, while the Veneto region published a video with images of patients in intensive care to convince people to comply with security measures. "Those who fuel night life are betraying the sacrifices of millions of Italians," Regional Affairs Minister Francesco Boccia told daily newspaper "La Stampa" on Monday.
Boccia said the government would recruit volunteers, called civic assistants, to help with checking crowds and for community services, such as taking groceries to people who need them.