Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced late on Monday that the government will restrict travel across the country due to the outbreak of the new coronavirus, canceling all public events.
Initially, this kind of collective quarantine had been imposed only in the regions most affected by COVID-19, in the north. But, starting this Tuesday, it will be valid for the whole country, the most affected by the epidemic in Europe.
Statements to the press of the president [of the Council of Ministers] Giuseppe Conte, live, of the Chigi Palace.
According to the Italian Prime Minister, the population of the country should avoid displacement whenever possible, with exceptions for three circumstances: "proven reason for work", case of great "need" or "health reasons".
"The whole of Italy will be a protected zone," he said.
With 9,172 confirmed cases, Italy is the second country hardest hit by the outbreak of the new coronavirus, which has been raising concerns for the international community since the end of last year, when the virus was discovered in China. The European country is second only to the Asian giant in terms of fatalities, with 463 deaths counted so far.
Worldwide, COVID-19 has already been confirmed at 114,231 people and killed 4,005. Another 62,834 managed to recover from the disease.