Business owner goes on hunger strike while protesting lockdown in Italy’s ‘red zones’

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An entrepreneur has handcuffed his bar and went on a hunger strike in protest at the closure in Italy’s ‘red zones’.

Nico Drago, 55, who runs Caffe Piazzi in Crocetta, Turin, has set up a tent in front of his property to sleep in at night.

The bartender, who has not eaten since yesterday, objects to the temporary closure of his bar after new coronavirus restrictions came into effect on March 15.

Schools, restaurants, shops and museums are closed in 13 of the country’s 20 ‘red zone’ regions, preventing people from leaving their homes except for work, health or other essential reasons.

Italy reported 481 deaths from the coronavirus on Friday, up from 501 the day before, the Ministry of Health said, while the daily number of new infections dropped from 23,649 to 21,932.

Nico Drago, 55, owner of Caffe Piazzi in Crocetta, Turin, jailed himself in protest at the temporary closure of his property after new coronavirus restrictions came into effect on March 15

Nico Drago, 55, owner of Caffe Piazzi in Crocetta, Turin, jailed himself in protest at the temporary closure of his property after new coronavirus restrictions came into effect on March 15

Business owner Mr Drago pictured outside his bar.  Schools, restaurants, shops and museums are closed in 13 of the country's 20 'red zone' regions

Business owner Mr Drago pictured outside his bar.  Schools, restaurants, shops and museums are closed in 13 of the country's 20 'red zone' regions

Business owner Mr Drago pictured outside his bar. Schools, restaurants, shops and museums are closed in 13 of the country’s 20 ‘red zone’ regions

Mr. Drago depicted in handcuffs.  Italy reported 481 deaths from the coronavirus on Friday, up from 501 the day before, according to the Ministry of Health

Mr. Drago depicted in handcuffs.  Italy reported 481 deaths from the coronavirus on Friday, up from 501 the day before, according to the Ministry of Health

Mr. Drago depicted in handcuffs. Italy reported 481 deaths from the coronavirus on Friday, up from 501 the day before, according to the Ministry of Health

He told the Italian newspaper The print: ‘After a year nothing has changed. I can’t even pay for bread. ‘

Mr Drago went on to explain that his gesture is not only against the government, but also to encourage others to ‘protest to save their business’, adding,’ Dying of Covid or starving we have no options.

“The state is a wolf and unfortunately we are sheep people.”

Italy has recorded 110,328 deaths related to Covid since the February outbreak last year, the second highest toll in Europe after Britain and the seventh highest in the world.

The country has reported 3.6 million cases to date.

Patients in hospital with Covid – not counting patients in intensive care – were at 28,704 Friday, up from 28,949 the day before.

There were 232 new admissions to intensive care units, up from 244 on Thursday. The total number of intensive care patients has increased to 3,704 from the previous 3,681.

Regional Affairs Minister Mariastella Gelmini said today that Italy has set a new record of more than 300,000 vaccinations against the coronavirus on Thursday.

Meanwhile, despite the country being in strict confinement at Easter, guests aboard the MSC Grandiosa cruise ship will slide a few miles offshore to Latin music on deck and sip cocktails poolside.

In one of the anomalies of lockdowns that have closed hotels and resorts around the world, the Grandiosa has sailed the Mediterranean this winter on seven-night cruises, a lone flag-bearer of the global cruise industry.

After cruise ships were early sources of much-discussed coronavirus outbreaks, the Grandiosa has sought to chart a course through the pandemic with strict anti-virus protocols approved by Italian authorities trying to create a ‘health bubble’ on board.

Passengers and crew are tested before and during cruises. Mask mandates, temperature controls, wristbands for contact tracing and regular vessel cleaning are all designed to prevent outbreaks.

AstraZeneca Covid vaccines doses are delivered in Rome, Italy.  Regional Affairs Minister Mariastella Gelmini said on Friday that Italy set a new record yesterday of more than 300,000 Covid vaccinations

AstraZeneca Covid vaccines doses are delivered in Rome, Italy.  Regional Affairs Minister Mariastella Gelmini said on Friday that Italy set a new record yesterday of more than 300,000 Covid vaccinations

AstraZeneca Covid vaccines doses are delivered in Rome, Italy. Regional Affairs Minister Mariastella Gelmini said on Friday that Italy set a new record yesterday of more than 300,000 Covid vaccinations

A medical staff member prepares AstraZeneca Covid vaccine doses on Friday at the headquarters of the local health authority Roma 1 in Rome, Italy.

A medical staff member prepares AstraZeneca Covid vaccine doses on Friday at the headquarters of the local health authority Roma 1 in Rome, Italy.

A medical staff member prepares AstraZeneca Covid vaccine doses on Friday at the headquarters of the local health authority Roma 1 in Rome, Italy.

Vials containing the AstraZeneca Covid vaccine will be prepared in Rome, Italy on Friday

Vials containing the AstraZeneca Covid vaccine will be prepared in Rome, Italy on Friday

Vials containing the AstraZeneca Covid vaccine will be prepared in Rome, Italy on Friday

A doctor will administer a dose of the Pfizer Covid vaccine to a patient on Friday at a medical office in Rome, Italy.

A doctor will administer a dose of the Pfizer Covid vaccine to a patient on Friday at a medical office in Rome, Italy.

A doctor will administer a dose of the Pfizer Covid vaccine to a patient on Friday at a medical office in Rome, Italy.

Passengers from outside Italy must arrive with negative Covid tests within 48 hours of departure and only residents of the European Schengen countries plus Romania, Croatia and Bulgaria are allowed to book under the Covid insurance policies.

On Wednesday, the Grandiosa left the Italian port of Civitavecchia for its week-long Easter cruise, with 2,000 of its 6,000 passenger capacity and scheduled stops in Naples and Valletta, Malta, before returning to its home port in Genoa.

Passengers welcomed the semblance of normalcy brought about by the freedom to eat in a restaurant or sit by the pool without a mask, even though the virus is still a current problem.

“After a year of restrictive measures, we thought we could take a week off to relax,” said Stefania Battistoni, a 39-year-old teacher and single mother who drove all night from Bolzano, in northern Italy, together. sons and mother to board the cruise.