HomeWorld NewsWhole of Italy under coronavirus lockdown with travel and public gatherings banned as deaths soar past 450 – The Sun
Whole of Italy under coronavirus lockdown with travel and public gatherings banned as deaths soar past 450 – The Sun
THE WHOLE of Italy has gone into lockdown in a desperate attempt to control the coronavirus outbreak.
The extraordinary measure will see all public events banned, cinemas, gyms, discos and pubs closed, funerals and weddings cancelled and sporting matches including Serie A games suspended.
Italy has the highest number of confirmed cases outside of China at 9,172 and its death toll stands at 463.
Over the weekend, 16 million people in northern Italy were placed under quarantine to try and contain the spread of Covid 19.
But Italy's prime minister has now extended its strict quarantine measures to the entire country as it struggles to contain Europe's worst outbreak of the deadly virus.
Giuseppe Conte said people would only be allowed to travel for work or family emergencies.
He said the drastic measures had been introduced because the country had "no time left".
Mr Conte said that the best thing for Italians was to stay at home.
'NO MORE NIGHTLIFE'
He said: "We want to guarantee the health of our citizens. We understand that these measures will impose sacrifices, sometimes small and sometimes very big.
"But this is a time where we must take responsibility for ourselves.
He added: "We have to limit the spread of the virus and prevent our hospitals from being overwhelmed.
"I will take responsibility for these measures. Our future is in our hands.
"No more nightlife…we can't allow this anymore since they are occasions for contagion."
Schools and universities will remain closed until April 3 beyond the original extension of March 15.
The number of deaths from coronavirus in Italy rose from 366 to 463 on Monday and the total number of cases jumped to 9,172.
Under the new decree, people will only be able to move between cities for emergency reasons and can face fines and up to three months in prison for breaking quarantine rules.
Checkpoints on motorways, toll booths, train stations and airports are expected to be introduced on Tuesday.
It comes after details of the plan to quarantine 16 million people was leaked to the press on Saturday – leading to a mass exodus to the south.
Police and medics wearing hazmat suits waited in Salerno in southwestern Italy for passengers who had jumped on overnight trains from Lombardy.
Roberto Burioni, a professor of microbiology and virology at the Vita-Salute San Raffaele University in Milan, said: "What happened with the news leak has caused many people to try to escape, causing the opposite effect of what the decree is trying to achieve.
"Unfortunately some of those who fled will be infected with the disease."
Earlier on Monday, six inmates died amid riots at prisons across the country after authorities suspended all visits from family and friends.
The trouble began in the northern city of Modena after inmates at the Sant'Anna prison were told all visits had been suspended.
Three people were reported to have died at the prison, while a further three died after being transferred from there.
At San Vittore prison in Milan, inmates set fire to a cell block on one of the facility's six wings, then climbed onto the roof through windows and unfurled banners.
At a prison in the southern city of Foggia, about 20 inmates managed to break out of the building during protests.
There were also riots at several other jails across the country.
Brits have been advised against "all but essential" travel to Italy after "confusing" FCO advice left hundreds of holidaymakers in chaos.
Many British flights returning home were allowed to land with no checks.
However the Foreign Office advice is for two weeks of self isolation for anyone returning from Italy.
The number of infections worldwide is now more than 111,000, with about 3,890 deaths.