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Beaches and promenades in some parts of Italy shut in coronavirus lockdown

A police officer stands guard preventing access to the beach in Barcelona, Spain. Picture by AP Photo/Joan Mateu

BEACHES and promenades in some parts of Italy have been shut after crowds filled them over the weekend despite the strict coronavirus lockdown.

Around 2,000 people have died from Covid-19 in Italy with more than 23,000 cases of the disease, which has led to a nationwide ban on public gatherings to slow a pandemic.

But many appeared to have flouted the ban in recent days with crowds of Italians gathering in the mountainside port of La Spezia and the northern city of Genoa in violation of coronavirus lockdown rules.

The number of reported deaths in Genoa's Liguria region almost doubled from 27 to 50 between Saturday and Monday.

On Monday, some Italian Riviera beaches and promenades around the northern city of Genoa were closed and access to La Spezia’s historic walkways and staircases was stopped until April 3.

The Italian ANSA news agency said similar bans were imposed for the beaches in the nearby towns of Lerici and Porto Venere, while Rapallo beach was also cordoned off on Sunday.

Police controls have also been stepped up in the Sicilian city of Catania.

Resorts in Spain also have closed their beaches in a bid to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Gandía and Cullera took the decision to close its beaches last Friday in a bid to discourage tourism.

Beaches on the coast of Valencia coast are also flying the red flag to indicate that bathing is prohibited to discourage crowds of people gathering on the beach.

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