The northeastern Veneto region, which performed nearly 16,500 swab tests in a day, recorded around a third of these new cases – 183.
Veneto Governor Luca Zaia said the new infections were discovered in recently returned residents from Spain, Peru, Malta, Croatia and Greece.
“Holidays are a risk,” he said in his daily briefing. “Everyone has to decide where they want to go on vacation, but it is also true that in our country, for a few weeks now, we have seen a concentration of infected patients on vacation.
Northern Italy is where the Italian epidemic started in February and has recorded the highest number of cases and deaths throughout the pandemic.
But recently, many other clusters of infection have occurred in central and southern Italy. Most of these cases were linked to the return of foreigners to work on farms, restaurants or hotels or to migrants rescued at sea.
Three more deaths were recorded on Friday, bringing the toll from the confirmed pandemic in Italy to 35,190. Experts say figures for all countries are underestimated, due to limited testing, missed cases and other issues .
The Italian authorities have also tried to suppress nightlife in tourist spots like the islands of Capri and Ponza or in the bar districts of cities like Rome, Milan and Naples. Italy requires masks to be worn outdoors if social distancing cannot be maintained. Many outdoor cafes and bars drew crowds of young people, most of them not wearing masks.
Italy’s health ministry says the average age of those infected in recent weeks has fallen to 40, from around 61 at the start of the pandemic.