'Stay at home' - coronavirus panic grips Italy

2020-03-10 18:28

Italians have been told to stay at home and avoid all non-essential travel as quarantine measures were extended to the whole country to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Here are the main points of a government decree signed on Monday night that brings the restrictions into effect until April 3.

The spread of the coronavirus was said to have stabilised in China - the epicenter of the disease - but is now raising concern in Italy and Iran.

READ | Coronavirus: Italy enters day one of lockdown

Don't travel (unless it's urgent)

From Tuesday, the movements of Italy's population of 60 million are severely limited. Travel is only allowed for "urgent, verifiable work situations and emergencies or health reasons".

People who have tested positive for COVID-19 must not leave their homes for any reason, while anyone with a fever or respiratory symptoms are strongly encouraged to stay at home and limit social contact, including with their doctor.

To avoid work-related travel, public and private companies have been urged to put their staff on leave.

Gatherings cancelled

The latest decree prohibits "all forms of gatherings in public places or sites open to the public" - going further than the rules that went into force over the weekend in large parts of northern Italy.

Sporting events of all levels and disciplines were cancelled, stopping play in the top-flight Serie A football league.

High-level professional training for top national sports events and competitions organised by international bodies, such as the Olympic Games, may go ahead without spectators. All athletes, coaches and managers will undergo health checks.

Swimming pools, spas, sports halls and wellness centres must not operate, and ski resorts across the country are shut.

Venues shuttered 

To encourage people to stay in, bars and restaurants are only allowed to open between 6am and 6pm, and only if it is possible to keep a distance of at least a metre between customers.

All museums and cultural venues are closed, as well as nightclubs, cinemas, theatres and casinos, which have been shut since the weekend.

While supermarkets will remain open, large shopping centres and department stores must close on public holidays and the day before public holidays.

School's out 

Schools and universities are closed, and all exams cancelled.

Religious institutions will stay open, as long as people can stay a metre from one another -- but ceremonies such as marriages, baptisms and funerals are banned.

Read more on:    italy  |  coronavirus
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