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Italy extends state of emergency on COVID-19

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… Portugal alleges EU of breaching pact

ITALY’S parliament today gave the go-ahead to extend the country’s state of emergency until October 15, allowing the government more flexibility to fight the pandemic.

  The state of emergency serves primarily to cut red tape and accelerate decision-making for the government when faced with disasters such as earthquakes, floods and other catastrophes.

  The decree had been set to expire on July 31. The approval was given by the Italian Senate yesterday for the extension of the state of emergency, followed by the chamber of deputies on today, with votes of 286 to 221 for the adoption of the measure, while five abstained from vote.

  Meanwhile, Portugal says EU countries broke pact to reinstate free movement after coronavirus lockdowns were lifted.

  Portugal’s foreign ministry said that some member states in the European Union had broken a pact to reinstate freedom of movement inside the bloc after coronavirus lockdowns were lifted.

  “We understand we were all required to reinstate freedom of movement within the EU from July 1 the latest” the ministry said.

  “We believe restrictions and decisions taken by member states related to other member states manifestly disregard this bond”.

  He however did not specify which member states were involved in the breach.

  The ministry’s comments came after Britain which left the EU in January but is observing its trade and travel regulations until the end of the year, decided on Friday to persist with a quarantine regime for travellers from Portugal.

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