Prostestors set trash cans on fire and clashed with police in Naples tonight as a curfew was imposed to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
Violence broke out as hundreds of activists, many wearing face covers, took to the city streets tonight to oppose stricter measures to tame the virus as new infections hit record highs.
Videos show crowds singing and marching through the city center with car horns in the background while smoke filled the air as protesters attempted to crack down on the curfew.
Police cars were attacked by protesters with baseball bats, while other rockets were thrown at officials who used tear gas in response as tensions swiftly swelled.
They were the first such demonstrations in Italy since the coronavirus outbreak eight months ago.
COVID-19 cases across Italy have increased seven-fold since the start of the month, rising to 19,143 on Friday, raising fears the pandemic is spiraling out of control.
As a result, restrictions are being imposed not only in Naples but also in Milan and Rome.
The number of deaths is also increasing, albeit more slowly and less consistently. There were 91 deaths on Friday, up from 136 the previous day and far fewer than at the peak of the first wave in March and April, when it hit a daily high of more than 900 deaths.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte says he wants to avoid the nationwide lockdown that was put in place when the disease first broke out and warns that renewed, strict restrictions would destroy an already fragile economy.
However, Italian law gives regional executives leeway to build their own curbs. Vincenzo De Luca, the head of Campania based in Naples, has set the pace, closed schools and announced a night curfew. Today he said more was needed.
There was flames and smoke in Naples tonight as a mass protest against the city of Covid's new curfew took place
Prostestors clashed with police in Naples tonight as a curfew was imposed to contain the spread of the coronavirus
Hundreds of activists, many of them wearing face covers, took to the streets tonight to oppose a lockdown intended to tame the virus as new infections hit record highs
During the protest against the curfew in Naples, a garbage can was set on fire in front of the headquarters of the Campania region
Police established a united front as protesters crack down on the new curfew in the city of Naples
People are protesting after regional authorities in the southern Campania region put a curfew to contain the coronavirus
Hundreds of people took to the streets to represent their cases tonight and were faced with a heavy police presence
COVID-19 cases across Italy have increased seven-fold since the start of the month, rising to 19,143 on Friday, raising fears the pandemic is spiraling out of control
The protest took place in Naples as the number of deaths is also increasing, albeit at a slower and less constant rate
A fire was kindled during the mass protest in Naples against a new curfew and the prospect of a lockdown
There were 91 deaths on Friday, up from 136 the day before and far fewer than at the peak of the first wave in March and April, when it hit a daily high of more than 900 deaths
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte says he wants to avoid the nationwide lockdown that was put in place when the disease first broke out and warns that renewed, strict restrictions would destroy an already fragile economy
However, Italian law gives regional executives leeway to build their own curbs. Vincenzo De Luca, the head of Campania based in Naples, has set the pace, closed schools and announced a night curfew
& # 39; Up-to-date data on contagion make any type of partial measure ineffective. It is necessary to close everything except the companies that produce and transport important goods, ”said De Luca on Facebook
“We have to make one last attempt to get things under control. We have to shut everything down for a month, for 40 days, ”he added, without saying when the shutdown would begin
Trash cans appeared to be set on fire when police and protesters clashed in Naples after a night curfew was ordered
Police officers stand guard as people protest after regional authorities imposed a curfew in the southern Campania region
A car window was damaged during the heated protests in Naples against the recently imposed curfew
Violence erupted in Naples as protesters ran against police after it was announced that a curfew would be imposed
Torches were thrown on a night of rioting in the Italian city and authorities tried to contain the spread of the coronavirus
People are protesting after regional authorities in the southern Campania region put a curfew to contain the coronavirus
Police vehicles were targeted as protesters in Naples cracked down on the incoming curfew in the city
& # 39; Up-to-date data on contagion make any type of partial measure ineffective. It is necessary to close everything except the companies that produce and transport important goods, ”said De Luca on Facebook.
“We have to make one last attempt to get things under control. We have to shut everything down for a month, for 40 days, ”he added, without saying when the shutdown would begin.
The governor of Lombardy, which also includes the Italian financial capital Milan, said on Friday that his region was facing a "dramatic situation" and urged locals to observe a curfew from 11 pm to 5 am, among other things.
Lombardy, the epicenter of Italy's first outbreak, remains the hardest hit region, accounting for 4,916 of the new cases on Friday. Campania was the second worst hit with 2,280.
A group of prominent scholars and researchers underscored the growing concern and urged the government to take immediate and energetic action at the national level to warn that hundreds could die every day without a tougher strategy.
"The longer you wait, the harder the measures you ultimately have to take, which take longer and thus have greater economic effects," the 100 scientists wrote in an open letter to Conte.
In contrast, the streets of Rome and Paris were deserted tonight as the Italian and French capitals' own restrictions seemed far more smooth to obey.
The Italian authorities started enforcing a five-hour curfew for the next 30 days in Rome tonight as police flooded the streets of the capital with a view to attacking someone in the city after 9 p.m.
In Paris, where rules have been in effect since October 14th prohibiting people from leaving their homes between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. without a valid motive, the streets were eerily quiet again and famous landmarks like the Eiffel Tower remained deserted.
Reflections of scenes in Cardiff where a 17-day fire breaker ban began today, pubs and restaurants packed away their outdoor seating and closed on a Friday night when business usually was booming.
Police were out on the streets of Rome tonight when a strict new 9pm curfew went into effect for the next 30 days
The heart of the Italian capital was lit by sirens as authorities ensured the new 9 p.m. curfew was properly observed
The civil defense staff barricaded the Piazza Campo dei Fiori at 9 p.m. due to the new blocking regulations in Rome
In the Italian capital, the authorities were in effect as of the first night of a new curfew for everyone in Rome tonight
The new curfew in Rome comes when the number of cases across the continent hit 200,000 in one day for the first time
Bars and restaurants in Rome had to close at 9 p.m. tonight as police patrolled the capital to make sure the rules were being followed
A couple in face masks are walking on the Alexandre III Bridge just before the nightly curfew at 9 p.m. in Paris
A barman closes his house at 9 p.m. as part of a city-wide curfew in Paris
Two men talk in front of the new curfew at 9 p.m. on an otherwise incredibly quiet Alexandre III bridge in the French capital
For the first time, the number of cases across the continent reached 200,000 in one day.
Cases have doubled in just 10 days, and many countries have set records, with governments torn between fighting the virus and keeping the economy going.
According to the WHO, Europe now accounts for almost half of all new cases in the world, which is partly due to mass tests.
The continent first reported 100,000 cases in a day on October 12 and has now hit the milestone of 200,000 in a day, although the actual numbers in the spring were likely well above the official high of 38,000 on April 4.
Cases have continued to grow exponentially, with France, Germany, Italy, Austria, the Czech Republic and other countries setting new 24-hour records in the past few days after governments massively increased their testing capacity after the first wave.
As a result, Europe is reporting more cases per capita than the United States for the first time since the US outbreak broke out in March.
Infections in Europe are also increasing faster than in India and Brazil, which together with the US were the pacemakers in the summer, but where cases are now falling.
In large parts of Europe, hospitals have come under pressure again, although in many places they are less affected than during the first wave.
Deaths in Western Europe are also lower than in the spring, but the death toll is at record levels in many countries in the eastern half of the continent.
A WHO expert said Monday that Europe and North America should follow the example of Asian countries in sticking to measures against Covid and quarantining anyone who comes into contact with infected people.
Spain this week became the first country in Western Europe to hit a million cases, while France will follow today after hitting 999,043 on Thursday.
France reported an all-time high of 41,622 new cases last night, a mark that few countries have ever surpassed.
French Prime Minister Jean Castex announced on Thursday an extension of the curfew to more than two-thirds of the population as cases continue to spiral out of control.
The number of deaths in France has risen to over 150 a day, totaling more than 34,000, while more people have been in intensive care since mid-May than ever before.
The night owls in Paris drink their drinks shortly before the curfew at 9 p.m. in the French capital on a bar terrace
A street near the Eiffel Tower is deserted at 9 p.m. as part of a citywide curfew in Paris that lasted tonight
Europe amassed more than 200,000 coronavirus cases in 24 hours for the first time on Thursday, just 10 days after the continent hit the 100,000 mark for the first time, although the actual numbers were likely well above official spring numbers
Overall deaths in Europe are still lower than they were in spring, although some Eastern European countries have more deaths than ever before
Red Alert: This map shows how cases are spinning across Europe, with higher infection rates shown in darker red. Spain this week became the first EU country to surpass a million confirmed infections, and France will follow after hitting 999,000 last night
Germany, which first reported more than 10,000 cases a day on Thursday, expanded travel warnings for Switzerland, Ireland, Poland, most of Austria and some Italian regions, including Rome.
Angela Merkel's Health Minister Jens Spahn, who tested positive for Covid-19 on Wednesday, will be quarantined at home.
According to the country's health institute, the Netherlands set a new record on Thursday with more than 9,000 cases.
Meanwhile, Poland is urging people over 70 to stay home and draft military reservists to help supply their homes with food as the country tries to avoid a full coronavirus lockdown.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki declared the whole country a 'red zone' today after the total number of infections doubled in two weeks, while the deaths hit a record 168 on Thursday.
With seven in ten deaths in Poland among those over 70, Morawiecki urged the elderly not to go out unless necessary and promised a senior support corps to help them get through the crisis.
The Elderly Protection Program will include a mix of government workers, volunteers, rescue workers and military reservists as the Polish government seeks to ensure the safety of those over 70 without shutting down the entire economy.
The government-funded assistance package also includes a dedicated hotline that seniors can call to request help with food or hygiene issues.
"Volunteers will shop for seniors, but also help with housework or simply talk to an elderly person," the Polish government promises.