Coronavirus: Italian mayor plans on using drones to send people back home during lockdown

Zoe Tidman
The mayor of Messina has released a video showing drones that emit messages in his voice telling people to go home during the coronavirus lockdown: De Luca Sindaco Di Messina / Facebook

An Italian mayor has announced plans to use drones to tell people breaking quarantine to go back home during the coronavirus pandemic.

Sicilian Cateno De Luca shared a video on Facebook of machines flying around the city shouting messages in his voice.

“Where the f*** are you going? Go back home,” can be heard coming out of a drone chasing people in woodland.

“Don’t go outside. This is the order of Mayor De Luca and that’s that.”

The mayor of Messina, a city in northeast Sicily, said he “could not wait” and drones will be “everywhere”.

Spain has already used drones to encourage people to stay inside during their own quarantine, as has China, where the virus originated towards the end of last year.

Italy has been on lockdown since 10 March as it battles its coronavirus outbreak, which has seen more than 74,000 people infected in the country, according to official figures released on Thursday.

People have been ordered to stay inside unless for essential reasons, such as to buy groceries or go to work.

Some Italian mayors — including Mr De Luca — have lashed out at those who ignore these measures, aimed at limiting the spread of coronavirus.

A video shared on social media shows local politicians criticising citizens for still playing table tennis or bringing in someone to cut their hair at home during the lockdown.

One had a veiled threat for those planning parties for their graduation.

“We will send the police over,” Vincenzo De Luca, the president of Campania, said. “We will send flamethrowers.”

Around 110,000 people have been charged for ignoring the lockdown measures, according to interior ministry figures.

Those who break the rules risk a fine of between €400 (£365) and €3000 (£2,735) as part of tougher sanctions announced earlier this week.

The country has been in lockdown for over two weeks as it battles Covid-19, with a death toll of around 7,500 as of Thursday.

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