(Reuters) - The whole of Italy will be placed under lockdown until next month, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced on Monday, in an unprecedented new attempt to beat coronavirus in Europe’s worst-affected country.
The move extends measures introduced at the weekend for much of the wealthy north of the country. Here is a summary of the main points. All the new rules are valid until April 3.
THE AFFECTED AREAS
All of Italy, including the islands of Sicily and Sardinia, covering a total population of some 60 million people.
The decree says people should only move around for reasons of work, for health needs or for emergencies. Public transport will remain operational, but Conte told reporters he wanted as many people as possible to stay at home. People who do want to travel will need to fill in a document explaining their reasons for doing so and carry it with them. If they are found to have lied they face possible fines or jail terms.
All outdoor gatherings are banned. All events organized in the private or public sector, from culture to sport, religious activities and fairs are suspended. Cinemas, museums, theaters, pubs, dance schools, betting shops and discos must all close. Ski resorts must close. Civil and religious ceremonies will not be held. Schools and universities will remain shuttered. Specialist health training is not be suspended.
Bars and restaurants can only open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. (0500-1700 GMT) and only on condition they can guarantee customers are at least one meter (one yard) apart. Businesses will be closed if the rules are not respected.
Shops can remain open but only if they can guarantee the one-meter safety distance for customers. Big and mid-sized shopping centers have to close at the weekend. Food stores are allowed to remain open at all hours.
All sporting events and competitions are canceled. The only possible exception to this are events organized by international sports’ bodies, so long as they take place behind closed doors. Gyms, sports centers, swimming pools, spas and leisure centers must close.
Leave for health workers is canceled. Those accompanying patients to A&E units are not allowed to stay with them in the waiting rooms without specific permission.
Anyone with a fever above 37.5C (99.5 Fahrenheit) or anyone who has tested positive for coronavirus must stay at home.
Reporting by Crispian Balmer; Editing by Cynthia Osterman
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