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Italy expands use of drones to monitor social distancing and movement of people during lockdown

euronews.com reports that local police in Italy are now permitted to use drones to monitor the movements of citizens during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Italian Civil Aviation Authority (ENAC) confirmed their approval on Monday, after receiving requests for additional support from “many local police units”. The authorisation for the use of drones will last until  April 3rd, when travel restrictions in Italy will theoretically be lifted. ENAC say they can be used in “urban areas” or “where there are small populations exposed to the risk of impact.”

A growing number of mayors and politicians across Italy have taken to social media to vent their frustration that many citizens have not been obeying the national lockdown measures. “If someone comes and explains to me that giving up jogging is a dramatic problem, I’ll take them with me to see the hospital wards,” said Stefano Bonaccini, president of Emilia Romagna region. Several regions of Italy, including Emilia-Romagna and Lombardy, are already using drones and other equipment to help enforce quarantine restrictions.

The Italian Interior Ministry has reported that over 92,000 people and more than 2,000 businesses had been reported for violating movement restrictions, up to Sunday.

Italy has been in lockdown since March 10th, and citizens can only leave their homes to go to work, buy basic necessities or for health reasons.

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