Italy has extended its restrictive measures of its “red zone” to the entire country as it struggles to contain the deadly coronavirus. Around 16 million people have already been placed under quarantine in Italy as it tries to stop the spread of Covid-19. But, on Monday, the country announced it had reached over 9,000 confirmed cases, with another 97 deaths, taking the death toll to 463.
Now, the Italian Prime Minister has extended its radical measures to the entire country.
Foreign Minister Di Maio announced on Monday evening the expansion of restrictive lockdown measures for the whole of Italy.
Mr Maio said just “like Lombardy” the country will “implement strict rules” expected for each region.
Prime Minister Conte said the country would be adopting even tougher measures to combat coronavirus.
He added that people should not move other than for work and emergencies, and said there will no longer be a “red zone” as the whole country was under the same conditions.
The Italian Prime Minister also announced a ban on gatherings in public places or outdoors due to coronavirus.
The new measures will be in effect from Tuesday morning, with the Prime Minister signing a decree immediately.
It comes after restrictions were put in place for anybody living in Lombardy and 14 other central and northern provinces needing special permission to travel. Milan and Venice were both affected.
However, on the first business day since the government placed the north of the country under lockdown, there was confusion among citizens.
Streets in Milan, Italy’s financial hub and the main city in Lombardy, were unseasonably quiet. Checkpoints were also set up at the city’s main train station to screen travellers.
People at Milan Central Station were required to sign a police form, self-certifying they were travelling for “proven work needs”, situations of necessity, health reasons or to return to their homes.
“Until a few days ago, the thinking was the alarm would pass in some weeks, we just need to follow the rules. Now we need to explain to citizens that the situation is very, very serious, our hospitals are at the point of collapse,” said the mayor of the city of Bergamo, Giorgio Gori.
For travellers and commuters, measures at main railway stations have been tightened significantly since the Sunday morning decree.
In the UK, anyone with cold, flu or fever symptoms is likely to be asked to stay at home in self-isolation before too long, England’s chief medical officer has said.
It comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson told reporters the UK will almost certainly move to the delay phase of tackling coronavirus.
As of 9am, on Monday, 319 people have tested positive for Covid-19 in the UK, up from 273 at the same point on Sunday, while five people have died in British hospitals.
Mr Johnson praised the “truly brilliant NHS” and its staff. He added: “We will set out further steps in the days and weeks ahead to help people protect themselves, their family and in particular the elderly and vulnerable.”