The restrictions affect around three-quarters of Italy’s population and come off the back of a 15% increase in cases in the last week. Nurseries, schools and universities will be closed, shops told to shut and restaurants only permitted to open for takeaways. The so-called red zones, where the toughest measures are in place, were imposed from Lombardy in the north to Puglia in the south, as well as the Lazio region around the capital.
The new restrictions will extend until at least 6th April, the Tuesday after Easter.
Outdoor sports will be allowed to continue but a ban on movement between regions will remain, except for work, health or other essential reasons, and people must first fill out a permit to travel.
The full list of red zones includes Campania, Emilia-Romagna, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Lazio, Lombardy, Piedmont, Veneto, Marche, Molise, Puglia and Trento.
An exception to the tiers will be applied for the Easter weekend, when from Friday to Sunday the entire country will be in the red zone, leading to a near-total shutdown, although two people plus their children will be allowed to make a single trip to another person’s home within the same region.Italy reported 264 coronavirus-related deaths on Sunday against 317 the day before, the health ministry said, while the daily tally of new infections was down to 21,315 from 26,062 the day before.