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Italian prime minister extends lockdown to entire country in bid to tackle Covid-19 outbreak

Italy has seen the worst outbreak of the Covid-19 coronavirus in Europe to date.

A view of St. Mark's Square in Venice, Italy today
A view of St. Mark's Square in Venice, Italy today
Image: Anteo Marinoni via PA Images

Updated Mar 9th 2020, 9:45 PM

ITALY’S PRIME MINISTER Giuseppe Conte has extended internal travel restrictions imposed in the north to the entire country, in a bid to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.

On Saturday, the Italian government announced that a quarter of the country’s population is to be put under lockdown. 

This evening’s unprecedented measures covering the entire country of more than 60 million people came into force after Italy reported 97 more deaths that took its toll to 463.

“I am going to sign a decree that can be summarised as follows: I stay at home,” Conte announced in a television address.

“The whole of Italy will become a protected zone,” he said.

The measures extend a quarantine zone that Italy had imposed for its industrial northern heartland around the cities of Milan and Venice over the weekend.

The national restriction will run until 3 April and mean that schools and universities will all immediately close.

Travel in and out of the country as well as movement between cities will be restricted.

But it was not immediately clear how all these measures will be imposed.

Trains and numerous flights continued to operate into and out of Milan today despite the earlier set of restrictions for its Lombardy region.

© – AFP 2020

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