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Tenor Andrea Bocelli, who had COVID-19, says lockdown humiliated him

Italian singer Andrea Bocelli performs outside the Duomo

Italian singer Andrea Bocelli performs outside the Duomo cathedral, in Milan on April 12. Credit: AP / Luca Bruno

Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli, who had COVID-19, said the pandemic lockdown made him feel “humiliated and offended” by depriving him of his freedom to come and go as he wanted.

Bocelli, 61, spoke at a panel Monday in a Senate conference room, where he was introduced by right-wing opposition leader Matteo Salvini, who has railed against the government’s stringent measures to combat the coronavirus outbreak.

The singer's announcement in May that he had recovered from the virus came weeks after his Easter Sunday performance in Milan's empty cathedral. At the time, Bocelli said that when he learned on March 10 that he had tested positive, just as the nation was going into lockdown, “I jumped into the pool, I felt well” and had only a slight fever. He apparently was referring to a private pool at his residence, as public gym pools were closed by then.

Bocelli told the conference at the Senate that he resented not being able to leave his home even though he “committed no crime” and revealed, without providing details, that he violated that lockdown restriction.

At the height of lockdown, Italians could only leave home to go to essential jobs, walk dogs or buy food or medicine.

Dismayed, Health Ministry Undersecretary Pierpaolo Sileri on Tuesday said that perhaps Bocelli “wanted to express the inconvenience of every Italian who, because of lockdown, stayed home.”

“I wouldn't have said those words, but I imagine he'll be able to explain it somehow,” Sileri added.

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