Coronavirus: Italy closes all shops and restaurants

Public life in Italy could largely come to a standstill: The country is closing as a measure against the spread of the Corona virus Bars and restaurants as well as almost all shops. Supermarkets, pharmacies and drug stores are still open, said Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte in a video message. All unnecessary business activities would have to be stopped.

In the restaurant business, the measure applies to all businesses that cannot guarantee a minimum distance of one meter between guests. In addition, all company departments that are not necessary for production are to be closed. The closings also affect hairdressers, according to Conte.

According to the prime minister, delivery services may continue to supply customers with groceries, food and other products. Newspaper dealers and tobacco merchants may also remain open. Transport and agriculture are assured, said Conte. A rush to supermarkets is not necessary now, as the supply is guaranteed.

“Just a few days ago, I asked you to change your habits and stay at home,” said Conte in his video message.

The next two weeks will show whether the measures will contain the epidemic. The measures are said to remain in effect from Thursday to March 25, around two weeks, reports the Reuters news agency, citing the Prime Minister’s office.

Italy is fighting drastically against the spread of the corona virus. The whole country is considered a restricted area, for the time being, the 60 million people are no longer allowed to move freely. So far, however, bars and restaurants were still open at limited times, including boutiques and other shops. In total, more than 12,400 people have been infected with the virus in Italy, and more than 820 have died. The Lombardy region is hardest hit.

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