Italy coronavirus lockdown: What are the restrictions?

Italy becomes first country in Europe to put more than 60 million people on lockdown to stem spread of virus.

    Italy coronavirus lockdown: What are the restrictions?
    People who do want to travel will need to fill in a document explaining their reasons for doing so [Antonio Calanni/AP]

    Italy has put more than 60 million people under lockdown, becoming the first country in Europe to do so, as it struggles to stem the spread of coronavirus infections.

    Officials on Monday announced 1,807 more cases, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 9,172. The death toll also rose by 97 to 463, with most of the victims elderly with previous medical complications.

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    Authorities first placed pockets of the country in lockdown before gradually expanding the so-called red zones.

    The nationwide restrictions will be in effect until April 3.

    What are the restrictions?

    All sporting events, including Serie A football matches, are off until further notice. Schools and universities are also shut until at least April 3.

    The Italian tradition of an espresso at the corner cafe? Gone. Cinemas, theatres and nightclubs will also remain closed.

    Religious ceremonies, including funerals and weddings, will also be postponed under the lockdown.

    Under the previous restrictions, restaurants and bars were allowed to open from 6am to 6pm, but that is no longer the case.

    "Our habits must be changed, changed now. We all have to give up something for the good of Italy. We will succeed only if we all collaborate and we adapt right away to these more stringent norms.” Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Monday while announcing the lockdown.

    Italy lockdown
     Those who do not observe the restrictions face a jail term of up to three months or a fine of $225 [Andrea Fasani/EPA]

    Public transport will remain operational, but movement is severely restricted with the government saying only those with a valid work or family reason that cannot be postponed will be allowed to travel.

    People who do want to travel will need to fill in a document explaining their reasons for doing so and carry it with them. Those who lie face a jail term of up to three months or a fine of 206 euros ($225).

    Shops can remain open, but only if they can guarantee that customers can remain one metre (three feet) apart. Big and mid-sized shopping centres have to close at the weekend. Grocery stores are allowed to remain open at all hours.

    Leave for health workers is cancelled. Those accompanying patients to emergency units are not allowed to stay with them in the waiting rooms without specific permission.

    Lockdown welcome?

    Residents in the Italian capital, Rome, formed long queues outside supermarkets to stockpile food on Monday night after the lockdown was announced.

    Inmates at more than two dozen Italian prisons rioted against restrictions on family visits and other containment measures, and six died after they broke into the infirmary and overdosed on methadone.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies