Italy is planning to send out into the streets some 60,000 volunteers to
tell people to keep respecting social distancing rules in the country’s
The scheme, announced by Regional Affairs Minister Francesco Boccia, on
Monday came amid mounting concern that people are mingling dangerously
close to one another on beaches, in bars and on public squares.
“The volunteers will not be vigilantes, but spreaders of good
behaviour,’’ Bari Mayor and head of the Italian Mayors’ Association
(ANCI) Antonio Decaro told Monday’s La Repubblica newspaper.
“They will be armed with the strength of persuasion, reason and their smiles,’’ he told La Stampa daily.
Boccia wrote on Facebook that a recruitment call, open to all citizens
but with priority given to the unemployed and recipients of welfare aid,
is to be published by the Civil Protection Agency this week.
Italy suffered a devastating outbreak of the coronavirus, however, the
epidemic peaked in late March, and after weeks of falling infection
numbers the country’s lockdown was de facto ended on May 18.
In his La Stampa interview, Boccia said the goverment used “a
carrot-and-stick approach” which “has worked,” but warned that a further
easing of restrictions could be delayed if people misbehaved.