Rome: Movement across Italy will be sharply restricted in a dramatic new clampdown aimed at halting the spread of the coronavirus, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Monday.
Conte told reporters that measures introduced just two days ago in much of the north were no longer sufficient and that they would have to be extended to the whole country from Tuesday. "Stay at home," Conte said.
All of Italy, including the islands of Sicily and Sardinia, covering a total population of some 60 million people.
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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 organised in the private or public sector, from culture to sport, religious activities and fairs are suspended. Cinemas, museums, theatres, 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 6am to 6pm and only on condition they can guarantee customers are at least one metre apart. Businesses will be closed if the rules are not respected.
Shops can remain open but only if they can guarantee the one-metre safety distance for customers. Big and mid-sized shopping centres have to close at the weekend. Food stores are allowed to remain open at all hours.
All sporting events and competitions are cancelled. The only possible exception to this are events organised by international sports’ bodies, so long as they take place behind closed doors.
Gyms, sports centres, swimming pools, spas and leisure centres must close.
Leave for health workers is cancelled. 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.