MILAN, Italy (AP) — After 11 p.m., Milan is a ghost town. The piazzas are empty, the streets dark and quiet.

The silence is broken by the occasional rumble of a bus, streetcar or taxi, gliding through the night with few or no passengers.

Since an 11 p.m.-5 a.m. curfew took effect Thursday, people can only move around during those hours for reasons of work, health or necessity.

The curfew is among a raft of measures that authorities hope will stem the resurgence of COVID-19 in a part of the world that suffered severely early in the pandemic.

Milan, Italy’s business hub and the capital of the wealthy Lombardy region, has seen the sharpest rise in infections as the coronavirus once again is spreading out of control.

Further restrictions are set to take effect Monday. The Italian government is trying to prevent a repeat of the crisis the country experienced in the spring, when more than 30,000 people died and the hospitals at one point had more than 4,000 COVID-19 patients in intensive care.

That number dwindled to double digits in the summer. In its latest update, the Health Ministry reported Saturday that more than 1,127 COVID-19 patients were in ICUs across Italy, including 213 in Lombardy. The nation’s confirmed death toll, the second-highest in Europe after Britain’s, rose to 37,210 with the deaths of another 151 people.


Karl Ritter in Rome contributed to this report.