Most of Italy ordered under partial lockdown to stem new Covid-19 wave

Schools, restaurants, shops and museums were ordered Friday to close across most of Italy from next week, after Prime Minister Mario Draghi warned of a “new wave” of coronavirus infections.

One year after it became the first European country to face a major outbreak, Italy is once again struggling with the rapid spread of Covid-19, this time fuelled by new, more contagious variants.

A majority of regions—including those containing Rome and Milan—were classified by Health Minister Roberto Speranza as high-risk red zones from Monday, with all residents told to stay home except for work, health or other essential reasons.

The extra restrictions will last until Easter, according to Draghi’s office. During the Easter weekend of April 3-5, the whole of Italy will become a red zone.

More than a year after the start of the health emergency, we are unfortunately facing a new wave of infections, Draghi said during a visit to a new vaccination centre at Rome’s Fiumicino airport.

He added: 

The memory of what happened last spring is vivid, and we will do everything to prevent it from happening again.

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