All of Italy is now on lockdown. Following a jump in new cases and locations of the coronavirus, plus almost 100 new deaths in just one day, the travel restrictions and rules imposed Sunday on the Lombardy region have been extended to encompass the entire country. In an effort to stem the spread of COVID-19, the disease that the coronavirus causes, all of Italy’s inhabitants are now subject to a strict quarantine. The measures will remain in place until April 3.
This comes as a further blow to the country’s fashion and footwear industries, already suffering from the restrictions. As Giuseppe Zanotti told FN today, “COVID-19 has inevitably impacted all businesses. It will have a domino effect for the worldwide economy.”
However, he urged everyone to observe the rules for the greater good. “Our top priority at this time of struggle is everyone’s health, so avoid traveling and gatherings,” he said. “But most of all, we have to be patient and very strong.”
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Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte made the dramatic announcement at a press conference late Monday night. “All the measures of the red zones are now extended to all of the national territory,” he said, also announcing a ban on all public events.
Nonessential travel away from the home area is banned throughout the country, all gatherings — from sports events to religious ceremonies — have been postponed or cancelled and schools, theaters and nightclubs have closed. Bars and restaurants can still open during daytime hours as long as it is possible for staff and customers to maintain a one-meter distance from each other.
Italy’s COVID-19 death toll now stands at 463 — the second largest outside of China — with 9,172 cases countrywide, the most anywhere in Europe.
This article has been updated.