Francis apologized for not greeting well-wishers at his weekly general audience, pointing a finger at "this lady called COVID, who does us so much harm."
Italians complied peacefully with the spring lockdown but there has been an immediate pushback against renewed restrictions.
"Everything will be shut," said Vincenzo De Luca, president of Italy’s Campania region, which is contending with the brunt of a coronavirus second wave.
His personal doctor said that the former premier, 83, is “asymptomatic,” Italian media reported.
The pontiff maintained social distance but didn't wear a mask as he greeted about 500 Catholics gathered in a Vatican courtyard.
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Italy's first closures since the lockdown eased are fueling fresh anti-immigrant rhetoric just as the number of migrants surges.
“It was irresponsible behavior on my part," the man admitted of the incident, which was caught on a surveillance camera at a museum in Italy.
The tenor, who had COVID-19, said he'd violated Italy's national restrictions but had "committed no crime."
A small study of 31 women with COVID-19 in Italy found signs of the virus in samples of umbilical cord blood, the placenta and, in one case, breast milk.