Italian Senate halts after two members test COVID-positive

FILE PHOTO: A general view of the Senate hall, in Rome

ROME (Reuters) - The Italian Senate suspended all parliamentary activity on Wednesday after two members from the co-ruling 5-Star Movement fell ill with COVID-19.

Marco Croatti and Francesco Mollame wrote on Facebook that they had gone into quarantine.

Croatti, 48, said he participated in a 5-Star lawmakers assembly last Thursday, wearing a mask and respecting social distancing.

All 5-Star's senators are now being tested, the Senate press office said.

Mollame, 58, said he did not take part in the 5-Star meeting because he already had a fever and he is now having difficulties breathing and speaking. "I've never been so bad, this virus is a nasty beast," he wrote on Facebook.

Some 95 out of Italy's 319 senators are from 5-Star, the largest party group in the upper house.

If more senators test positive, parliamentary activity could be curtailed ahead of key debates on how to spend billions of euros Italy is due to get from the European Union's Recovery Fund to help the bloc's economies.

(Reporting by Angelo Amante; Editing by Gavin Jones and Andrew Cawthorne)