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Italy closes all parks in further tightening of coronavirus lockdown

A pedestrian bridge is seen deserted amid concerns about the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Milan, Italy March 20, 2020. REUTERS/Daniele Mascolo

ROME (Reuters) - Italy’s health ministry on Friday approved new measures to limit people’s movements in an effort to contain the worst coronavirus outbreak in Europe.

From Saturday, parks and public gardens will be shut down and people will be allowed to take exercise only around their homes, a directive seen by Reuters said.

Games and recreational activities in the open air will also be prohibited.

“We must do even more to contain the contagion,” Health Minister Roberto Speranza said in a statement.

The death toll from the outbreak in Italy leapt by 627 to 4,032 on Friday, with 47,021 confirmed cases.

Reporting by Angelo Amante, editing by Gavin Jones