Italy extended its emergency coronavirus measures to the entire country on Monday, putting more than 60 million people on lockdown as it struggles to limit the spread of the virus. It is the worst-hit country outside of China and the first in Europe to put its entire population on lockdown.
Nearly 2,000 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Italy on Monday evening, bringing the country’s infected total to 9,172. Those killed by the virus increased from 366 to 463, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed in all of Italy’s 20 regions.
The new temporary measures are set to change the lives of most people in the country, but officials hope they will save the lives of hundreds or thousands of people.
After the lockdown, what are the restrictions in Italy?
The new extended measures will be in effect until April 3. They include travel restrictions and a ban on public gatherings to everyone in the European country.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte ordered people in Italy on Monday to stay home and seek permission for essential travel. During a TV address, he said, “There is no more time.”
“We’re having an important growth in infection… and of deaths,” he said, according to the BBC. “The whole of Italy will become a protected zone.”
Conte said the new measures were implemented to protect those who are most vulnerable to the coronavirus — including the elderly and those with preexisting health conditions.
Due to the new restrictions, all sporting events are suspended nationwide and schools and universities will remain closed until April 3.
Cinemas theatres and nightclubs will also remain closed, while religious ceremonies — including funerals and weddings — will also be postponed until after the lockdown is over.
Shops can remain open if customers stay three feet apart.
People will only be allowed to travel if they have a valid work or family reason that cannot be postponed. Passengers who are departing and arriving on flights will have to give a reason why they are leaving, the television network said.
Restaurants and bars were allowed to stay open from 6 am until 6 pm, but that’s no longer the case, according to Al Jazeera.
Those who lie about why they are traveling can face a jail term of three months or a fine of $225.
Train stations in Italy will check the temperatures of passengers and cruise ships are forbidden to dock at various ports throughout the country. Leave for health workers is also canceled, the television channel said.
“We all must give something up for the good of Italy. We have to do it now,” the prime minister added. “This is why I decided to adopt even more strong and severe measures to contain the advance… and protect the health of all citizens.”