Italy to impose nationwide coronavirus lockdown over Easter weekend - draft decree

ROME, March 12 (Reuters) - Italy will be placed under a nationwide lockdown for the Easter weekend, a draft law decree seen by Reuters said on Friday, as the government battles to stem a fresh surge in coronavirus cases and hospitalisations.

Non-essential shops will be shuttered nationwide from April 3 to April 5. On those days, Italians will only be allowed to leave their homes for work, health or emergency reasons.

The draft decree also said that as of Monday curbs will be tightened in the country’s low-risk ‘yellow’ regions, where movement between towns will be severely limited and restaurants and bars will be closed.

Along with nationwide measures, Italy calibrates restrictions in its 20 regions according to a four-tier colour-coded system (white, yellow, orange and red) based on infection levels and revised every week.

The decree is expected to be approved later on Friday. (Reporting by Angelo Amante, editing by Maria Pia Quaglia)