The restrictions – which divide the country into three zones according to the severity of the latest outbreak – are less severe than the blanket measures imposed when the pandemic first took hold in March.
Like other countries in Europe, Italy, which reported more than 34,000 cases and 445 deaths on Thursday, has seen an alarming resurgence of the pandemic, but the government has been desperate not to shut down the economy entirely.
“Probably a partial lockdown is better than a total lockdown, for several reasons, mostly for the economy,” said Milan resident Fabrizio Amadori.
In Milan, the fashion and business capital where the strictest limits have been imposed, streets were quieter than normal but a far cry from the near-total silence of the spring.
Clothes shops, including the city’s luxury boutiques, were closed but many schools, offices and businesses including retailers of food and a broad range of staples were open.
In the city centre, clusters of office workers or parents taking their children to school could be seen sipping their morning coffee from paper cups in front of cafes, despite rules against eating outside.