AN East Lancashire teacher who gave a stark account of the first lockdown in Northern Italy a year ago has spoken of her frustration and helplessness as the country goes back into lockdown.

In March last year Karli Drinkwater, 36, told Lancashire Telegraph readers how she and her fiance, Pierangelo, were ‘effectively under house arrest’ in their home in Altedo, near Bologna.

Two months later the former Clitheroe Royal Grammar School pupil, whose mother Cheryl Sandford lives in Langho, spoke of her joy and relief as restrictions eased.

Now Miss Drinkwater, who moved to the early Covid-19 hotspot in 2019, faces a new set of tough lockdown rules as a third wave of coronavirus hits Italy.

And she still does not know when her Italian wedding, scheduled for September 5 last year, will go ahead.

Miss Drinkwater said: "We are tired and drained with the latest lockdown measures. As we live in the Bologna province, we’ve been in a 'Red Zone' for almost two weeks already as there have been varying levels of lockdown across Italy for months.

"Now, most of the country is in a red zone. That means everything is closed, apart from essential shops and services, and we can’t leave the small area where we live.

"The measures are only slightly less severe than last year, because this time, they have allowed us to exercise outside as long as you are walking, running or cycling alone.

"We adopted a dog last year, so I go walking in circles with him as it’s the only thing left that we can do.

"The people of Italy are very frustrated and desperate by this point.

"There have been over 101,000 deaths and the financial and psychological impact is devastating. Many have lost jobs, many small businesses can’t survive and parents are again being asked to look after children at home while they try to hold down their own jobs.

"There is fear and listlessness: a feeling of helplessness as we face lockdown after lockdown with a slow vaccine rollout. Getting out of this mess seems a long way off and, in the meantime, we are isolated and the mood everywhere is sombre and empty.

READ MORE: 'Please don't end up like Italy': Lancashire teacher's coronavirus plea

"We still haven’t got married yet as last year’s restrictions forced us to postpone. The new date was scheduled for July, but we think we may have to set a third date as it’s far from certain that weddings with parties will be allowed."

Mrs Sandford said: "Karli is very tired and so dispirited. She is very upset she can't come and see her family and cannot even get married."